In May, a short trailer was released for “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”, starring Daniel Radcliffe, the accordion-wielding master parody-singer. Every year there is a musical biopic. With the success of Oscar-winners like “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, it’s not surprising that Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic would receive one.
Eric Appel and Weird Al Yankovic released the first Weird Al Yankovic biopic in 2010. In a Funny or Die short video, Aaron Paul played the role of the five-time Grammy winner. The video featured Gary Cole, Olivia Wilde and Patton Oswalt. It was a short satirical comedy that wasn’t meant to be more than that. Twelve years later, Appel & Yankovic have a finished film with a new director.
Yankovic claims that he saw Radcliffe on The Graham Norton Show in 2010. Yankovic said that he saw Radcliffe perform “The Elements” by Tom Lehrer in 2010. This song features every element of the periodic table. We are still puzzled as to why the movie wasn’t announced earlier in the year.
Another interesting detail is the length of the shooting. The shooting took only sixteen days, according to Yankovic’s Instagram posts. Filming a film can take several months or even years. This is a Roku Original movie, something we didn’t know Roku had until today. It appears to be a shorter and smaller film.
It is worth noting the film’s casting. Radcliffe replaces Paul in Yankovic’s role (Paul had been set to come, but contracted COVID-19 while filming), Evan Rachel Wood replaces Olivia Wilde in Madonna’s role, and Rainn Wilson replaces Oswalt in Dr. Demento’s radio personality.
It’s understandable that Madonna plays a major role in the film. Yankovic’s cover of “Like A Surgeon” and Wilde’s portrayal as her love interest make it easy to see how their relationship goes beyond that. Hulk Hogan is also in the cast. Why is there a Hulk Hogan appearance and no role for Michael Jackson, Yankovic’s most famous parody victim?
We might be thinking too much about this movie, or expecting too much. However, there are many questions surrounding the supposed feature-length film. Paradox and readers will have to wait until the movie is released on Roku in the fall.