Josh Gad to Play Film Critic Roger Ebert in 'Russ and Roger'

The 'Pixels' actor is set to portray the film critic, joining Will Ferrell in the STX Entertainment comedy.

AceShowbiz - %cJosh Gad% has signed on for biographical comedy "Russ & Roger". Gad will portray film critic Roger Ebert, joining %cWill Ferrell% who will play critic and filmmaker Russ Meyer in the feature film which is being developed at STX Entertainment.

The movie is based on the true story of the relationship between Ebert and Meyer while they made 1970's drama "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". The movie was a satirical drama that ran afoul the censors but ended up having a massive success at box office.

In the late 1960s, Meyer was known for his works on pulp films like "Wild Gals of the Naked West" and "Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill!". A big opportunity came to him when 20th Century Fox was struggling with a series of big budget failures.

Richard Zanuck, the former head of the studio thought that Meyer would be the solution. Zanuch offered Meyer "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and Meyer was quick to agree, but on the condition that Ebert would write the script. The two then worked together and embarked on a unique relationship.

Michael Winterbottom directs "Russ & Roger" with the script penned by Chris Cluess. Mark Amin, Tyler Boehm, David Higgins, David Permut, Richard Waltzer and Cami Winikoff produce the movie which is expected to hit U.S. theaters in 2016.

Gad recently starred in comedy "Pixels" alongside %cAdam Sandler% and in "The Wedding Ringer" with %cKevin Hart%. Gad just wrapped production on Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast (2017)".

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