Rock ‘n’ roll documentaries sadly come and go, which is depressing because so many of them turn out pretty damn great. For instance, Douglas Tirola’s 93-minute rollercoaster of a documentary, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, impressed a dozen top film critics last year — enough to surface at the 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival — only to dissolve into oblivion. Fortunately for that story, however, it’s getting another chance, and will likely turn more heads, as David Wain has signed on to direct a feature film on the Lampoon for Netflix titled, A Futile And Stupid Gesture.
Screenwriters Michael Colton and John Aboud adapted Josh Karp’s 2008 book of the same name, which offered the “first complete history of the immensely popular magazine and its brilliant and eccentric characters.” As such, the film will follow founders Doug Kenney and Henry Beard as they bring the Harvard Lampoon off-shoot into national acclaim and change pop culture history forever. Arrested Development star Will Forte has signed on to play Kenney, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens hunk Domhnall Gleeson will play Beard. Peter Principato and Jonathan Stern will produce.
With Wain attached, it’s likely we’ll see a number of familiar faces from his oeuvre, especially given the rich subject matter. The publication was responsible for tipping off the careers of everyone from John Hughes to Al Jean and Mike Reiss to essentially the entire first season cast of Saturday Night Live. So, it’ll be fun seeing who plays who —
fingers crossed Rob Huebel appears as Chevy Chase — and Wain will no doubt have a blast in the casting room for this. It should be noted that the filmmaker previously worked with Netflix on last July’s reboot mini-series of Wet Hot American Summer.
Shooting will begin later this month.
Update – Tuesday, April 5th at 4:05 p.m. CT: Speak of the devil, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Joel McHale will play his former co-star Chevy Chase in what will allegedly be a hefty role for the film. After all, Chase was a very close friend to Kenney. Sorry, Mr. Huebel.
Update – Wednesday, April 6th at 11:25 a.m. CT: Well, isn’t this fun? Now, The Wrap reports that Broad City’s John Gemberling has snagged the role of John Belushi. Odds are we’ll hear a new bit of casting each and every day for the next week or two.