Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, Roku’s forthcoming biopic about the comedy music icon, has found its lead – and it’s none other than Daniel Radcliffe.
In news that we did not expect to read or hear, the former Harry Potter star has been cast to portray Yankovic in the Roku Original title, which will be free to stream on all Roku streaming devices when it exclusively launches on The Roku Channel.
Produced by Funny or Die and Tango, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will chart the musician-cum-actor’s meteoric rise to fame with hit parody songs including Like a Surgeon, Eat It, Amish Paradise and Smells like Nirvana.
The feature film will also explore his private life in great detail. A Roku press release confirming that the biopic will “hold nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life” that’ll shine a light on his various relationships and other important aspects of Yankovic’s personal life.
Yankovic has co-written his biopic with Eric Appel (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl), who will also direct and executive produce the movie. Funny or Die’s Eric Munoz III and Tango’s Neil Shah will also serve as executive producers, while Yankovic will receive a producer credit.
Production on Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will begin in Los Angeles in February, while a release date will be revealed in due course.
Analysis: Daniel Radcliffe is an odd but strangely pleasing choice for lead role
If confirmation that a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic biopic is happening wasn’t surreal enough, the choice to hire Radcliffe may – initially, at least – seem like a very odd choice.
Radcliffe famously portrayed Harry Potter in Warner Bros’ live-action movie franchise, which is based on J.K. Rowling’s novels of the same name. He was last seen gracing our screens in HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special.
Since the final Harry Potter film was released in July 2011, though, Radcliffe has opted to star in more unusual movie, TV and stage play productions – Horns, Guns Akimbo and Miracle Workers among his more recent projects.
Speaking about Radcliffe’s casting and the biopic in general, Yankovic said: “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’m 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.”
Given Radcliffe’s penchant for curious and quirky projects, and his apparent move away from movie franchise roles, then, it isn’t that surprising that something like Weird: The Al Yankovic Story would appeal to him. Radcliffe gets to portray the biggest comedy musician of all time, and flex his acting muscles in another unconventional role. Here’s hoping Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and Radcliffe’s impersonation of Yankovic himself, is as strangely marvellous as we hope it’ll be.