Sierra/Affinity is bringing Stan & Ollie to Cannes for sales. The project, which stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the beloved comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy who rose to fame in the 1930s, was written by screenwriter Jeff Pope. Coogan and Pope last worked together on Philomena which garnered four Oscar noms, including for Coogan and Pope for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film will be directed by Jon S. Baird (Filth) with Entertainment One (eOne) and BBC Films co-financing.
The story follows Laurel & Hardy as they set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As they set out, crisscrossing the country, attendances are disappointingly low. But they’ve always been able to make each other laugh and as the charm and beauty of their performances shines through their audiences laugh too, and they re-connect with legions of adoring fans. The tour becomes a hit, but Laurel & Hardy can’t quite shake the specter of their own past. Long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages begins to unfold as the duo, aware that they may be approaching their swan song, try to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.
Stan & Ollie is being produced by Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures in association with eOne Features and BBC Films. The rights to the work of Laurel and Hardy was licensed by Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation. Executive producers on the film are Christine Langan and Nichola Martin for BBC Films, Gabrielle Tana, as well as Pope for Sonesta Films.
eOne will directly distribute the film in Canada, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain. Sierra/Affinity will represent all other international territories outside of the U.S. CAA reps domestic distribution rights.