A limited series based on the life of silent comedy star Buster Keaton is currently in the works. The Warner Bros series, based on James Curtis’ Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life, is set to star award-winning actor Rami Malek in the lead role.
As first reported by Deadline, a new limited series about the life of vaudeville-turned-silent comedy movie star is being made. The series will star Malek, who won Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal of Queen’s Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, as American actor and filmmaker Keaton. Warner Bros is currently in negotiations to secure rights to James Curtis’ 2022 biography, Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life, which will serve as the source material for the series.
The series is currently under a deal between Warner Bros and 6th & Idaho Productions, with expectations to be shopped to streamers and networks. The series will be produced by Malek and David Weddle (under 6th & Idaho Productions), with The Batman (2022) director Matt Reeves to helm the project. Whilst a writer has not yet been decided, Ted Cohen (Friends, Succession) is currently in negotiations to both write and serve as Executive Producer. Daniel Pipski (Ticket to Paradise) and Rafi Crohn (Infinite) will also be serving as producers under 6th & Idaho Productions.
Keaton was best known for his deadpan expression, which he brought to several movies, shorts, and television series throughout the early and mid-twentieth century. He began his career as a performer by acting with his parents, Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton, in various vaudevilles. In 1917, he began to star in several shorts, including The Butcher Boy, The Rough House, His Wedding Night, Oh Doctor!, Coney Island, A Country Hero, and Out West. Whilst starring in other films such as The Playhouse, Cops, The Electric House, and Sherlock Jr, his masterpiece is believed to be the 1926 film, The General. In the film, which Keaton also co-directed with Clyde Bruckman, he plays train engineer and Confederate military rejectee Johnnie Gray, who must recapture his locomotive from Union spies. The film is based on a true story of an event from the American Civil War.
The Keaton biopic does not currently have a set date.