Danial Radcliffe is strapping on an accordion to play popular musician “Weird Al” Yankovic in a new biopic. The Hollywood Reporter reported the news, with Radcliffe set to star in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which will detail the life and career of the five-time Grammy winner who is best known for his comedic spoofs of iconic songs.
Daniel Radcliffe is of course best known for his role as Harry Potter in the eponymous movie franchise, and for many of his fans it may be a surprise to see him take on this singing role. However, Radcliffe is no stranger to belting out a tune; he previously starred on Broadway in a revival of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This will also be another fun role for Radcliffe, whose post-Harry Potter career has consisted of many entertaining choices including Swiss Army Man, the TV show Miracle Workers and the upcoming movie The Lost City.
The screenplay for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was written by “Weird Al” himself, along with Eric Appel, who is serving as the movie’s director. Appel actually has already made a version of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, making a fake trailer for Funny or Die in 2010 with Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul portraying Yankovic.
In the announcement, Yankovic said “I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role that future generations will remember him for.”
According to the official description of the movie, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story “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.” (Perhaps some in-character hyperbole there from Yankovic.)
In addition to parodying Michael Jackson with “Eat It” and Madonna with “Like a Surgeon,” Yankovic’s song catalogue includes “Amish Paradise” (parodying LL Cool J’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”), “Foil” (Lorde’s “Royals:), “The Saga Begins” (a Star Wars parody based on “American Pie”) and plenty more.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is set to be released exclusively on The Roku Channel streaming service. No release date was shared at this time.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.