It wasn’t long after the premiere of WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story director Eric Appel to land a deal for his next big project. The filmmaker directed the new “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic that he also co-wrote with the legendary parodist himself. With the film drawing immense praise from critics and viewers after its release on Roku, Appel has become a much hotter commodity in Hollywood, and Sony Pictures was the first to strike by hiring Appel to write and direct a comedy movie called Stepdude.
No specific details have been revealed for Stepdude, but according to Deadline, the studio sees very high potential in the project. The plan is to fast-track development and shoot for a theatrical release, and it seems likely that it will heavily promoted as coming from the filmmaker behind WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story. While Appel previously made the parody trailer for Funny Or Die that eventually evolved into this new biopic, WEIRD marks the feature film debut for Appel.
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Recently, Appel also served as a director for Kevin Hart’s Quibi series Die Hart. His other TV work includes helping the Son of Zorn pilot as well as episodes of popular TV shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and The Office. Appel also served as a writer on other comedy shows like The Andy Milonakis Show and Crank Yankers.
WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story Has Been a Big Hit for Roku
While “Weird Al” Yankovic-style humor isn’t for everyone, the biopic has been a pretty big success for Roku. It sits on a fresh rating of 85% at Rotten Tomatoes with the audience score landing at 88%. It also won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film drawing such a strong reception certainly played into Appel picking up his second feature film deal, and this will also give him a chance to tell a story that will be told on the big screen, should all go as planned.
“Making a film, especially one that started with an idea that I had, that I was a producer on it, I was the co-writer, I’m so close to the project, it’s just such a different animal,” Appel recently told Slash Film of the difference between directing TV and movies. “Every choice is mine, ultimately. Our producers and Al gave me that freedom… It was such an amazing process. Now I just want to make movies.”
You can stream WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story on Netflix.