Will Ferrell to star in Eurovision Song Contest comedy for Netflix

Actor Will Ferrell was reportedly inspired by a visit to this year's Eurovision and is thought to have been a fan since he was introduced to the contest by his wife of 18 years.
Actor Will Ferrell was reportedly inspired by a visit to this year's Eurovision and is thought to have been a fan since he was introduced to the contest by his wife of 18 years.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Actor Will Ferrell is set to direct and appear in a Netflix movie based on the Eurovision Song Contest, a glitzy annual extravaganza known for its over-the-top costumes, media reports said.

The 50-year-old A-lister will also co-write Eurovision with Andrew Steele, former head writer of Saturday Night Live, on which Ferrell starred for years.

Ferrell was reportedly inspired by a visit to this year's Eurovision and is thought to have been a fan since he was introduced to the contest by his wife of 18 years, Swedish actress Viveca Paulin.

The movie is being interpreted as an attempt by Netflix to appeal to its customers abroad.

"The deal gives Netflix a comedy that will mean as much or more to an offshore streaming subscriber base more familiar with the song competition," said Mr Mike Fleming Jr, film editor for entertainment website Deadline.

Other big-name comics signed up for projects with the streaming service include Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider - all Saturday Night Live alumni.

Eurovision, which began in Switzerland in 1956, remains a relatively obscure event in the United States, despite high-profile winners including Celine Dion and Abba.

No release date has yet been set for Eurovision, which would be Ferrell's second Netflix project after romantic comedy Ibiza, which he co-produced but did not appear in it.