British actor Steve Coogan has been cast alongside John C. Reilly in a new biopic about legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Coogan will play Stan Laurel, with Reilly taking the role of his partner Oliver Hardy. The film’s script has been penned by Jeff Pope, who worked with Coogan on Philomena and it will be directed by Filth's Jon S. Baird.

Steve CooganSteve Coogan has been cast as Stan Laurel in a new biopic.

Titled Stan & Ollie, the film will focus on the duo’s 1953 tour of UK variety halls and is described as an "emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. It is being developed by BBC Films and produced by Fable Pictures and Sonesta Films.

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Laurel and Hardy’s 1953 tour initially attracted disappointing numbers, but eventually the shows would become hits, with the pair reconnecting with old and new fans as well as each other. Speaking about the double act writer Jeff Pope said: "Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are my heroes.”

"When I watch their movies, in my head it is forever a Saturday morning and I am six years old watching the TV at home utterly spellbound.” The writer added that he was aware of the responsibility that came with depicting the famous duo, but insisted he hadn't "treated the boys with kids gloves or looked at them through rose coloured specs.”

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When the project was first announced in 2014, director Baird told The Scotsman, “It’s really a love story between two guys who come to realise they can’t live without each other. It’s a really, really beautiful tale. It also tells the story of their off-screen personas, which were quite different to what people would imagine knowing their on-screen ones.”