Daniel Radcliffe will play Weird Al Yankovic in Weird: the Al Yankovic Story, a biopic written by Weird Al Yankovic himself.
It is produced by Tango and Funny or Die, which, interestingly enough, made fun of the idea of a Weird Al movie nearly a decade ago with a joke trailer for a film also called Weird: the Al Yankovic Story. In that 2013 Funny or Die video, Aaron Paul played Al and Olivia Wilde played Madonna. (You can watch it below, featuring a cameo by the real Yankovic.) This time the star of the Harry Potter films will take the reins from the Breaking Bad actor.
The film will air exclusively on The Roku Channel, and production on the biopic will begin in Los Angeles in early February. Roku said in a release that the film “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.”
Yankovic also starred in UHF, in which a regular guy (Yankovic) takes over a failing TV station and produces wild things like Gandhi II, reimagining the proponent of passive resistance as a Shaft-style ass-kicking vigilante.
“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.”
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is c0-written by Eric Appel, who will also direct and executive produce. He also wrote and directed the 2013 Funny or Die video.
“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,” Appel said.
Al Yankovic will also produce the film, with Mike Farah, Joe Farrell and Whitney Hodack for Funny Or Die, and Tim Headington, Lia Buman and Max Silva for Tango. Funny Or Die’s Henry Muñoz III and Tango’s Neil Shah are executive producers.
Weird Al Yankovic is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist of all time and a five-time Grammy winner. His 2014 release Mandatory Fun was the first comedy album in history to debut at the top of Billboard’s Top 200. He is one of only three artists who have had top 40 hits in each of the last four decades — the other two are Michael Jackson and Madonna.
If you can’t wait for Weird, the New York Times also did an excellent 2020 deep-dive into the life and career of Weird Al Yankovic that beautifully explained his enduring appeal.
Here’s the 2013 fake trailer for Funny or Die’s fake Weird: The Al Yankovic story, which is not to be confused with the real Weird: The Al Yankovic story, starring Daniel Radcliffe, also from Funny or Die.
Main image: Weird Al Yankovic attends the premiere of Bad Teacher at the Ziegfeld Theatre on June 20, 2011 in New York City. Courtesy of Shutterstock.