Back in 2013, word broke of a film focused on the partnership of filmmaker Russ Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert. That film, Russ & Roger Go Beyond, later attracted Will Ferrell and Josh Gad in the lead roles, with Sing Street filmmaker John Carney hired to direct. The film was very close to beginning production, and then the plug was pulled. And now we know why.
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One project that has been kicking around for a few years now is Russ & Roger Go Beyond, the film that tells the real life story of how softcore pulp film director Russ Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert teamed up to make the 1970s cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Will Ferrell and Josh Gad have been lined up to play Meyer and Ebert respectively for a little while now, but the project has had a hard time locking down a director, with the most recent name being Once and Begin Again director John Carney. Read More »
Update: Josh Gad is now finally confirmed to play Roger Ebert in the film Russ & Roger opposite Will Ferrell as film producer and director Russ Meyer. (The film was formerly referred to as Russ & Roger Go Beyond.)
Michael Winterbottom will direct the movie, which follows the creation of Ebert and Meyer’s film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. This picture is described by THR as “a debaucherous comedy centering on two outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment and made one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio.”
Original story follows. Read More »
In 1970, soft-core exploitation maestro Russ Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert collaborated on a film that Ebert later characterized as one “that got made by accident when the lunatics took over the asylum.” Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was originally intended to be a sequel to the melodrama Valley of the Dolls, but in the hands of Meyer and Ebert it became something else. Ebert calls it “a satire of Hollywood conventions, genres, situations, dialogue, characters and success formulas.” It’s a bizarre curio of a very different Hollywood.
Naturally, the story of its creation is going to be a movie, called Russ & Roger Go Beyond. Will Ferrell is looking like the actor who will play Russ Meyer in a project that doesn’t yet have any other creative talent attached.
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It was inevitable that Roger Ebert‘s life story would end up on film in some manner. A documentary or two seemed the most likely method, but a couple producers have something else in mind, and are putting together a dramatic feature.
The film is called Russ & Roger Go Beyond, and it has a script by Christopher Cluess (SNL, The Simpsons) that tells the tale of the collaboration and unique friendship between director Russ Meyer and critic as they worked together on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Ebert scripted the film for the b-movie mogul whose drive-in cheapies featured outrageously busty women, strange comedy, and plenty of sordid thrills and violence.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, co-written by Ebert and Meyer and directed by Meyer, wasn’t quite like the director’s other “bosomania” efforts. It was originally developed as a sequel to the trashy drug melodrama Valley of the Dolls. (Where “dolls” meant pills, not women.) But Ebert and Meyer eventually scripted the film as a spoof of the original and, as Ebert said, “a satire of Hollywood conventions, genres, situations, dialogue, characters and success formulas, heavily overlaid with such shocking violence that some critics didn’t know whether the movie ‘knew’ it was a comedy.” Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 by Angie Han
There are more variations of official and unofficial Star Wars action figures than anyone could possibly count, but even within that vast sea of paint and plastic, this inspired reimagining of the cast stands out.
On a commission from comedian / actor / geek guru Patton Oswalt, artist Jamie Follis created a line of Star Wars toys based on your favorite characters — that is, if they’d been created by Russ Meyer instead of George Lucas. And given Meyer’s tastes, that means Luke, Han, Vader, and others been transformed into busty babes, while Leia stands alone as a thick piece of beefcake. Check ’em out after the jump.
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Russ Meyer made cheap, grimy and oddly effective movies filled with violence and astoundingly buxom women. Consequently, he was an inspiration to, possibly even a hero for, multiple generations of filmmakers, musicians and artists who worked outside the lines. He was a gold standard, really, and films like Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!; Supervixens; Up! and many more were great pictures for both exploitation fans and kids looking for some weird thrills in the days before the internet provided instant access to every possible human fantasy object. (And, yes, he directed Beyond the Valley of the Dolls from Roger Ebert’s screenplay.)
Now David O. Russell might make a film about Russ Meyer, who died in 2004 at age 82. Read More »
Recently Sex Pistols manager and rock impressario Malcolm McLaren passed away, which prompted Roger Ebert to write about his memories of working with McLaren on a film that never fully materialized. In 1977 Ebert worked with McLaren and director Russ Meyer on Who Killed Bambi?, meant to be a punk rock A Hard Day’s Night, but which stalled out while filming.
Now Ebert has released his entire original screenplay online, and it makes quite a little punk rock / mainstream crossover curiosity. Read More »