Roger Ebert And Russ Meyer Biopic “Russ & Roger Go Beyond”

October 9, 2013

Mark Amin’s Sobini Films has partnered with David Permut and Richard Waltzer to acquire RUSS & ROGER GO BEYOND written by Emmy-winning writer Christopher Cluess (Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons). The picture will tell the unusual relationship between film critic Roger Ebert and soft core helmer Russ Meyer when they made Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls at 20th Century Fox.

The script is set in the late 1960s, when cheap counterculture films like Easy Rider were on fire, and 20th Century Fox was struggling after a number of big flops. Meyer already established himself with Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, and wanted to make a legitimate studio film. The head of 20th Century Fox, Richard Zanuck, agreed because his films were cheap to make and drew money at the box office.

Meyer agreed to make Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls on the condition that Roger Ebert write the script. Ebert’s reviews of Meyer’s work over at the Chicago Sun Times were some of the few positive reviews his work received. Ebert and Meyer then struggled with the studio’s board of directors and the ratings board. Despite having an X-rating, the film was released in 1970 and was a big success.

Ebert and Meyer remained friends for the rest of their lives until Meyer passed away in 2004. Ebert recently passed this year.

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