When Warner Bros. Pictures adapted J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books into film, they cast British child actor Daniel Radcliffe for the title role. The first film released in 2001, and the movie series lasted until 2011. In that decade, audiences and fans saw Radcliffe grow into a solid young star. He was also determined not to be remembered solely as The Boy Who Lived. He got plenty of attention when joining the cast of a theatrical revival for the play “Equus” which ran 2007-09 from West End to Broadway. Radcliffe continues to look for challenging roles. Who would have thought that it would include portraying America’s most famous parody singer-songwriter?
Variety tells us that Daniel Radcliffe has been cast to play Weird Al Yankovic in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” a biopic original film to stream on Roku. Yankovic himself is co-writer for the movie’s story with director Eric Appel, for a production under Funny Or Die and Tango. This is the first original biopic being done for The Roku Channel, an exclusive streaming hub by the digital media player company which was expanded last year when Roku acquired the library of mobile streaming platform Quibi following its 2020 shutdown.
With reputations of being both the most famous boy wizard in film and a guy who got naked with a horse in stage theatre, Radcliffe’s acting credentials make him seem apparently qualified to take on the role of Weird Al. While Yankovic to the general public is a famed musical parodist (turning Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” to “Eat It” for instance), he also had a quirky private life, including multiple celebrity affairs. While appearing in many films, Weird Al’s sole starring/written movie had been 1989’s “UHF,” a box-office bomb and later cult classic. Yankovic claims in a statement that “Weird” on Roku falls 33 years after “UHF,” following his supposed pledge to space his motion picture productions in that period.
In any case, Weird Al Yankovic is happy that Daniel Radcliffe is playing him on “Weird,” claiming that this would overwrite the latter’s fame in “Harry Potter” and “Equus.” Roku Head of Original Scripted Programming Colin Davis is also positive with the prospects of the biopic, both in Yankovic writing his own life story and Radcliffe bringing it to life. This is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original,” says Davis in interview.
“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is expected to begin production in Los Angeles by February.
Image: New York Times