Daniel Radcliffe to play ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic in a biopic on pop’s greatest pilferer

Ah, the magic of movies. One moment you’re the world’s youngest, greatest wizard; the next you’re the biggest music plagiarist on the planet.

Strange as it may seem, Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame is set to play derivative musician ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic in a biopic about the muso’s life.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will be produced by Roku Inc. and written by Funny or Die’s Eric Appel along with Yankovic himself. Appel will also direct.

Born Alfred Matthew Yankovic, ‘Weird Al’ first came to relative fame when he released the song Ricky, a parody of Toni Basil’s cheerleader favourite, Mickey. But his big international break came when he took a bastardised version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It to the top of the charts. Eat It was accompanied by a music clip in which Yankovic copied Michael Jackson’s look and every move from the Beat It video, leading to his win of a bunch of Grammys.

Since then, Yankovic has parodied everyone from Madonna to Eminem, Bob Dylan to David Bowie, Talking Heads to Nirvana, Coolio to Lady Gaga. He has also featured in several cult films including UHF (which he co-wrote and starred alongside Fran ‘The Nanny’ Drescher); and more commercial successes Tapeheads; the Naked Gun series (playing himself); Batman vs Robin (as ‘The Dollmaker’); and Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans.

Despite all the fun and shenanigans seen on screen, in real life Yankovic is actually quite tame, classifying himself as a Christian and abstaining from alcohol, drugs, and even profanity.

It’s going to be interesting to see what producers come up with to make his biopic exciting. A press release jokes that the film “holds nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame 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,” continues the release, “from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time.”

As for Daniel Radcliffe stepping into Yankovic’s shoes, the Harry Potter actor hasn’t revealed much about the role but subject Al insists, “I have no doubt that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”

For some reason, we’re imagining that Radcliffe will come across more like mad Tommy Wiseau in The Room, the whole concept of this project being so bizarre.

And if you think you’ve seen hype about a Weird Al biopic before, you may have caught the Funny or Die sketch made in 2010 – also called Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a mock trailer in which Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad fame) plays Yankovic. Oddly enough, Paul (pictured above) looks more like Daniel Radcliffe than he does Weird Al.

It’s like a parody of a parody of a parody… well, you get the gist.

Antonino Tati

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