Coming Soon: A Chris Farley Biopic Produced by Lorne Michaels

Saturday Night Live fans may soon have another reason to go to the movies, as a Chris Farley biopic is currently being shopped to studios by SNL creator Lorne Michaels. 

It probably won’t take long for the project to find a home, as the biopic has already attracted an A-list team of players both in front of and behind the camera. 

In addition to Michaels, Emmy-winning actor Paul Walter Hauser is attached to star as Farley. It’s truly a dream role for the Black Bird and Cobra Kai actor; back in 2021, Hauser told THR about how he’d once approached the Farley family about collaborating on a film about the late comedian, but that it ultimately didn’t work out. 

The untitled project already has the Farley family’s blessing, as it will be adapted from The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts, the bestselling 2007 biography that was co-authored by Chris’s brother, Tom Farley Jr., and Tanner Colby.

Longtime writing partners Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber—who earned an Oscar nomination for their adaptation of The Disaster Artist and most recently developed the musical miniseries Daisy Jones & the Six for Hulu—are set to write the script, with Tony-nominated actor/comedian Josh Gad attached to make his directorial debut with the project. 

Farley joined Saturday Night Live in 1990, and quickly became one of its biggest breakout stars with the physicality of his performances and his never-ending ability to make his co-stars break. Among his most memorable characters were van-down-by-the-river-living motivational speaker Matt Foley, who was created by Bob Odenkirk (with a little help from Christina Applegate).

Alongside fellow castmates like Chris Rock and Adam Sandler, Farley went on to find success in Hollywood as well—most prominently with the cult classic Tommy Boy, co-starring David Spade. 

Sadly, Farley spent much of his adult life battling drug and alcohol addiction, which contributed to his untimely death at age 33 on December 18, 1997.

Though Farley had departed SNL two years earlier, there have been different stories over the years with regard to whether he was fired or quit the show of his own accord. In early 2023, Sandler—who left SNL at the same time—shed some light on their exit.

“It was kind of like them asking us to quit,” Sandler told The Hollywood Reporter. “There were new people at the network, and apparently they didn’t like me and Chris, so they kind of said goodbye to us in a nice way. Lorne was great to us, he wanted to protect us.”

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