Daniel Radcliffe to star in Weird Al Yankovic biopic

Comedy recording artist says role will be the one for which future generations remember Harry Potter star

If you thought future generations would remember Daniel Radcliffe for Harry Potter, then think again. According to “Weird Al” Yankovic, a forthcoming biopic starring Radcliffe as the cult hero behind comical spoof versions of classic songs will alter the course of the actor’s career.

Radcliffe was confirmed to star in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story on Tuesday. The film will follow the life and career of the five-time Grammy award-winning musician, whose early hits included Eat It (a parody of Michael Jackson’s Beat It), Amish Paradise (Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise) and Like a Surgeon (Madonna’s Like a Virgin).

“When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork,” the 62-year-old said. “I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule.

“And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”

The biopic will air on the streaming service Roku. It is written by Yankovic and Eric Appel, and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s company, Funny Or Die. Production is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles in early February.

“When Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn’t believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it,” Appel said.

Yankovic, who has recorded more than 150 parodies and original songs, is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist of all time. His 2014 release Mandatory Fun was the first comedy album in history to debut at No 1 on the US music chart Billboard’s Top 200.

“There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s head of original scripted programming.

Radcliffe, 32, recently took part in HBO’s Harry Potter reunion, Return to Hogwarts, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film franchise.

His other recent projects included TV series Miracle Workers and Australian prison film Escape from Pretoria. He will also star alongside Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt in The Lost City, due to land in cinemas in March.


Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review – Daniel Radcliffe biopic packed with wacky walk-ons
Packed with parody musical cliches, this spoof biopic of the afro-haired singing turn is a long slow trudge with little comedy

Peter Bradshaw

03, Nov, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review – bizarre, one-joke biopic
Daniel Radcliffe dons a wig and does his best in this mildly amusing glorification of the 80s ‘musical sensation’

Wendy Ide

06, Nov, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
Daniel Radcliffe reader interview: ‘I’m obsessed with Bargain Hunt’
The actor answers your questions about his Weird Al moustache, nerding out in front of Rihanna and what he would take to a desert island

As told to Rich Pelley

03, Nov, 2022 @12:07 PM

Article image
Post your questions for Daniel Radcliffe
The former Hogwarts wizard and star of movies from The Woman in Black to his latest, Weird: The Al Yankovic story, has dusted down his wand and is ready to conjure answers to your questions

Rich Pelley

25, Oct, 2022 @11:27 AM

Lady Gaga approves Weird Al Yankovic parody
Singer gives satirist permission to release Born This Way spoof, despite his claim that she initially rejected the track

Sean Michaels

21, Apr, 2011 @11:35 AM

Article image
Daniel Radcliffe ends support for Liberal Democrats
Harry Potter star describes Nick Clegg 'whipping boy' of Tories and says he will vote Labour

Ben Quinn

06, Feb, 2012 @1:26 AM

Article image
What Weird Al Yankovic deems 'Tacky' is actually just fashion

Hadley Freeman: Saying some fashionistas dress plain weird is like pointing out the emperor's nakedness, but sometimes weird can be chic, too

Hadley Freeman

21, Jul, 2014 @2:30 PM

Article image
Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint up for WhatsOn Stage awards
Harry Potter alumni shortlisted for respective theatrical roles in The Cripple of Inishmaan and Mojo

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

06, Dec, 2013 @3:03 PM

Article image
Weird Al Yankovic review – supreme nerd's full-tilt pop pastiche
Two hours of machine-tooled musical parody cover every big chart hit since the early 80s

Brian Logan

05, Oct, 2015 @11:35 AM

Article image
Weird Al Yankovic: 'I think Robin Thicke was glad I just mocked his grammar'
After 30 years in the music business, Weird Al Yankovic has finally broken through. Hadley Freeman asks the cult hero what it's like to be number one

Hadley Freeman

30, Jul, 2014 @5:42 PM