Chris Farley Biopic in the Works With Paul Walter Hauser to Star, Josh Gad to Direct

A Chris Farley biopic is in the works, with Josh Gad set to direct.

In the hot package being shopped around town, Emmy, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Award winner Paul Walter Hauser is attached to star as the legendary comedian. There’s no word yet on where the project will land, but it’s sure to attract a slew of bidders.

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The film will adapt the best-selling biography “The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts” by Tom Farley Jr. (Chris Farley’s brother) and Tanner Colby. Lorne Michaels, who cast Farley on “Saturday Night Live,” is producing via Broadway Video.

Oscar and Emmy nominees Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (“The Disaster Artist,” “Daisy Jones & the Six”) will write the screenplay.

Before his tragic death in 1997 of a drug overdose, Farley rose to fame during his five-season stretch on “Saturday Night Live.” During that time, he starred in beloved sketches including “Lunch Lady Land” with Adam Sandler, “Chippendale’s Audition” with Patrick Swayze and “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker” (who famously lives in a van down by the river).

Farley translated that fame to the big screen, starring in comedies like “Tommy Boy” with frequent collaborator David Spade, “Black Sheep” and “Beverly Hills Ninja.”

The project, which will mark Gad’s directorial debut, has the blessing of the Farley family.

Hauser’s film credits include “Richard Jewell,” “I, Tonya” and “Cruella.” He earned a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his role in the 2022 miniseries “Black Bird” opposite Taron Egerton.

Hauser is represented by CAA, Artists First, The Lede Company, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP. Gad is represented by CAA, Sugar 23, ImPRint, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP.

Farley and Colby are represented by Verve. Broadway Video is represented by CAA. Neustadter & Weber are represented by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.

Deadline was first to report the news.

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