Chris Farley Biopic to Star Paul Walter Hauser; Josh Gad To Direct

Lorne Michaels will produce the movie, which is based on The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts.

Josh Gad is set to direct an upcoming biopic based on the life of comedian Chris Farley. Adapted from The Chris Farley Show: A Bigoraphy in Three Acts, the as-yet-untitled movie will be produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Actor, comedian, and wrestler Paul Walter Hauser is reportedly attached to star as Farley. This won't be the star's first or even second foray into biopics, having earned acclaim for his title role in Richard Jewell, a 2019 movie about the man falsely accused of orchestrating a bombing of the 1996 Olympics.

In a quirky twist of fate, Richard Jewell wasn't even Hauser's first biopic about an Olympics-related controversy. Before he broke out in Richard Jewell, the actor played Shawn Eckhardt in 2017's I, Tonya.

The movie will be based on the biography written by Farley's brother Tom Farley Jr. and pop culture writer Tanner Colby, and Deadline -- who first reported on the project -- says the Farley family is supportive of the film.

Farley appeared in Saturday Night Live during one of its great "revivial" periods, starring alongside luminaries lke Phil Hartman and Adam Sandler, as well as bankable talents like David Spade and Rob Schneider. He is widely regarded as one of the best physical comedians of his generation, and incredibly capable and nimble for someone as big as he was.

His size would be a constant concern and bone of contention; former SNL writer and comedy icon Bob Odenkirk wrote in his memoir that he hated one of Farley's most beloved sketches.

"The first breakout moment for Chris was the 'Chippendales Audition' sketch on the Patrick Swayze–hosted episode in season 16," Odenkirk wrote in Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama.

"It was a huge bummer to me to see that scene get on the air and get such attention. I know it confirmed Chris's worst instincts about being funny, which was how he proved his worth — that getting laughed at was as good as getting a laugh," Odenkirk continued. "Writers I knew and respected defended this sketch because it had a funnyish idea buried in it: the Chippendales judges prefer Swayze's dancing over Chris's but can't put a finger on why," he adds. "But that idea is not what produced the gales of cackling (and gasps) from the live audience. Chris flopping his overstuffed body around did that. I feel like I can see it on his face in the moment when he rips his shirt off. Shame and laughter are synthesized in the worst way. F--- that sketch."

Besides all the those biopics, Hauser recently had a role in Black Bird which earned him SAG and Emmy wins.