Nic Wright

Steve Coogan to play Stan Laurel in new biopic

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Steve Coogan is to star as Stan Laurel in a new biopic of Laurel and Hardy.

John C Reilly will appear alongside Coogan as Oliver Hardy.

Stan and Ollie, to be produced by BBC Films, will be penned by Philomena writer Jeff Pope, and directed by Jon S. Baird.

The film will follow the duo’s final tour of Britain in 1953, as their stardom and Hardy’s health faded. Though it initially struggled with low audience numbers, the tour gradually became a hit.

Jeff Pope told Deadline magazine: “Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are my heroes. When I watch their movies, in my head it is forever a Saturday morning and I am six years old watching the TV at home utterly spellbound.

“I am aware of the huge responsibility of bringing their characters to life, but I have not treated the boys with kid gloves or looked at them through rose-coloured specs. They are living and breathing characters, with flaws and shortcomings.”