[UPDATE: 5/12/22]: A recently released trailer for WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story offers a first look at Daniel Radcliffe as musical funnyman “Weird Al” Yankovic.
The one-minute preview of the film shows snippets from different scenes in the movie as one of Weird Al’s first commercial hits, “Like A Surgeon”, plays in the background. The trailer also shows The Office‘s Rainn Wilson portraying Dr. Demento, the enigmatic radio DJ credited with discovering Weird Al in the mid ’70s.
The film is set to premiere this fall exclusively on The Roku Channel. Roku shared the movie trailer at its NewsFronts presentation at the Chelsea Factory in New York City last week. Danielle Radcliffe appeared at the event to promote the film, offering sincere remarks before joking that the movie better do well or he will have learned the accordion for nothing.
“I am so excited to for you to see the insane, wonderful film that we have made,” Radcliffe said. “Thank you, Roku, for letting us make such an insane, weird film. Getting to do this was genuinely one of the most fun things I’ve ever gotten to do in my life, so [I hope] it is as much fun to watch as it was to make. I think you will really enjoy it—and you better, because I learned the accordion for this. And that instrument is a nightmare.”
View the trailer for WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story starring Daniel Radcliffe below.
WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story Trailer
[1/18/22]: In some appropriately weird news, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is reportedly due to portray parody artist “Weird Al” Yankovic in an upcoming biopic for Roku.
WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story, produced by Funny or Die and Tango and written by Yankovic and Eric Appel, will be available to stream exclusively via The Roku Channel. Production is due to begin in Los Angeles next month.
According to a press release from the streaming company that seems to drift back and forth between the factual and the absurd, “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.”
“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,” said Yankovic. “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.”
“There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s head of original scripted programming. “This is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny, and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original.”
Added Appel, who will also direct the film, “When Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn’t believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it.”
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The idea for a classic Hollywood rockstar biopic for the accordion-wielding humorist—a famously “clean” entertainer both in terms of lyrical content and lifestyle choices—has been gestating at Funny or Die for the better part of a decade.
Back in 2013, Eric Appel wrote, directed, and edited an all-star trailer for a forthcoming “Weird” Al biopic, also titled Weird:The Al Yankovic Story. The 2013 clip—starring Aaron Paul as Yankovic alongside various other familiar faces—was likely always intended as an internet short and nothing more, but it surely laid the groundwork for the 2022 project. As we wait for them to make the full film with Dan Radcliffe, revisit the old Funny or Die “Weird” Al Yankovic biopic “trailer” starring Aaron Paul below.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story – 2013 Funny or Die Trailer
[Video: Funny Or Die]
“Weird Al” has a busy year ahead of him. In addition to the new film, the parody stalwart will drop the schtick and head out on an extensive tour featuring limited production, more intimate venues, and original, non-parody songs, billed amusingly as The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgend Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. For a full list of dates and ticketing information, head here.