Chalk up an unexpected piece of dream casting this morning, with the news that none other than Daniel Radcliffe will be donning what is sure to be an impressive series of wigs in his feature film portrayal of musician and comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic. Radcliffe will star as the title character in the Roku biopic WEIRD: The Weird Al Yankovic Story, the company’s first original biopic production. Production of the film, produced by Funny Or Die and Tango, is expected to begin in February, with it eventually airing for free on The Roku Channel.
WEIRD was written by Yankovic and Eric Appel, who will also direct. Here’s the official synopsis:
“The biopic holds nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle. ‘WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story’ takes audiences on a truly unbelievable journey through Yankovic’s life and career, from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time.”
The role is par for the course for Radcliffe, who, since the closure of the Harry Potter series has primarily pursued small, eclectic and weird roles that strike his fancy, seemingly content with the vast amounts of money he likely made as the star of one of the biggest film franchises of all time. The past few years have seen him in everything from Swiss Army Man and Horns to Guns Akimbo and the TV series Miracle Workers. Yankovic, meanwhile, had the following hilarious statement to offer:
“When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule. And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
Yankovic is of course one of the most successful musical comedy acts of all time—his most recent album, 2014’s Mandatory Fun was the first comedy album #1 debut ever, and he’s also one of only three artists to have had top 40 hits in all of the last 4 decades. It will be a pleasure to see this long-awaited follow-up to the cult classic of UHF, especially with Radcliffe involved.