A week after the release of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, director Eric Appel has landed his next project. Sony Pictures has tapped him to write and direct a new comedy feature titled Stepdude. Matt Tolmach, Jack Black, and Roz Music will act as producers.
At this time, plot details for Stepdude are being held tightly under wraps, but along with Weird, it won’t be Appel‘s first, second, or even third rodeo in the comedy genre. With a background largely in TV, Appel has worked on a number of series within the genre. Most recently, he directed episodes for the Kevin Hart-led series Die Hart, which follows Hart as himself as sets out to become an action star. Appel also directed episodes of series such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Silicon Valley, and New Girl.
From a writing capacity, his main credits come from the sketch comedy shows including Pretend Time and The Andy Milonakis Show, along with others in a similar vein like Comedy Central‘s Crank Yankers. He has also written and directed several shorts. He has further experience in comedy as a producer (Son of Zorn), an editor (Funny or Die Presents…), and an actor (UCB Comedy Originals).
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a quasi-biopic film that explores the life of legendary Grammy award winning parody songwriter “Weird Al” Yankovic, who has parodied a wide array of musical artists from Michael Jackson and Queen, to Green Day, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and many, many more. Led by Daniel Radcliffe, the film follows Yankovic and his meteoric rise to fame, and as he engages in love affairs and a generally depraved lifestyle. Appel directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Yankovic. Additional cast includes Quinta Brunson, Evan Rachel Wood, Toby Huss, Rainn Wilson, Julianne Nicholson, and more.
The film received solid reviews across the board, especially with Radcliffe‘s performance as Yankovic. In his review, Collider‘s Ross Bonaime states that Radcliffe is the film’s “greatest joy,” with a performance steeped in appreciation for Yankovic‘s work and legacy. He cites it as “an absolutely charming and often hilarious look at the world’s greatest parody musician” that succeeds because it “dares to be stupid.”
Stepdude currently has no release date or cast attached.