Josh Gad to Direct, Paul Walter Hauser Will Star

New Line Cinema proved to be more highly motivated than the rest of its competition in landing the forthcoming Chris Farley biopic that is set to star Paul Walter Hauser as the late comedy legend.

The company has landed director Josh Gad‘s film following a highly competitive situation. Hauser, a recent Emmy winner for his work in Apple TV+’s Black Bird, will star as Farley, the Saturday Night Live standout and star of such films as Tommy Boy who died of a drug overdose in 1997 at age 33.

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist, Daisy Jones & The Six) are writing the screenplay based on Tom Farley Jr. and Tanner Colby’s best-selling biography, The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts. The project has the blessing of the Farley family, with SNL creator Lorne Michaels and Erin David serving as producers for Broadway Video.

Farley joined SNL in 1990 and was known for playing an enthusiastic Chicago Bears supporter as part of “Bill Swerski’s Superfans,” misguided motivational speaker Matt Foley and the underprepared talk show host of The Chris Farley Show. Farley co-starred opposite David Spade in films Tommy Boy (1995) and Black Sheep (1996), while other feature credits included Airheads (1994), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997) and the posthumously released Almost Heroes (1998).

Hauser’s previous film work includes I, Tonya (2017), BlacKkKlansman (2018), Richard Jewell (2019) and Cruella (2021). He is set to voice a character in this summer’s Inside Out 2 and appear opposite Matt Damon in Doug Liman’s movie The Instigators.

Hauser is represented by CAA, Artists First, The Lede Company and Schreck Rose. Gad is repped by CAA, Sugar 23, ImPRint and Johnson Shapiro. Neustadter and Weber are repped by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone and Marks Law Group.

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