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Chris Farley Biopic In Works With Paul Walter Hauser Starring

Now here is a package coming together that is sure to set the town and market on fire. Deadline is hearing a script based on the biography The Chris Farley Show: A Biography In Three Acts is being shopped with Paul Walter Hauser attached to play the iconic comic and actor who tragically died in the mid-90s of a drug overdose. Josh Gad will direct with Lorne Michaels, who found and cast Farley in Saturday Night Live in the 90s, producing through his Broadway Video. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber penned the script.

Based on the biography by Farley’s brother Tom Farley Jr. and Tanner Colby (Insiders say the family has given their blessing to the project), the film would tell the story of one of the great comedians of his generation. Getting his start in the heyday of Saturday Night Live where Farley would join an all-time ensemble of SNL greats that would include Adam Sandler, David Spade, Phil Hartman and Rob Schneider. From the start, Farley stood out with his great amazing physical comedy delivering iconic sketches like his “Van Down By The River’ performance or trying out as a Chip N Dales dancer with Patrick Swayze that live in SNL lore.

His success on the show would translate over to the big screen where he would soon join the A-list of 90s comedians with hit films such as Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja. Tragically, after being sober for three years, he would relapse and fall back in to drugs and alcohol, passing away from an overdose in 1997. His death shook not just the industry but all lovers of film and comedy and immediately drew comparisons to fellow SNL alum John Belushi, who also died way to young in his own life.

For Hauser, this is the type of role he has been driving towards as career has begun to rise at rapid pace following his scene stealing role as Tonya Harding’s bodyguard in I, Tonya. He has followed that up with leading roles in Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewel and most recently his star making role in Black Bird which earned him a recent SAG and Emmy win.

As for Gad, this would mark a big step for him as the comedian takes his first step in the directing realm taking on a story of a person that surely inspired his own comedic aspirations over the years. The film would mark his directing debut.

Neustadter and Weber long list of credits include The Disaster Artist, The Fault in Our Stars and (500) Days of Summer.

Hauser is reppe by CAA, Artists First and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP, Gad is represented by CAA, Sugar 23, ImPRint, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP, Farley and Colby are represented by Verve, Broadway Video is represented by CAA and Neustadter & Weber are represented by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.   

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