Will Ferrell to star in Eurovision movie

LOS ANGELES • Comedy star Will Ferrell is set to direct and appear in a Netflix movie based on the Eurovision Song Contest, a glitzy annual musical extravaganza known for its over-the-top costumes, media reports said on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old A-lister will also co-write Eurovision with Andrew Steele, former head writer of Saturday Night Live (SNL), 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 being 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.

"And Ferrell becomes the latest feature comedy star to set a star vehicle at Netflix, at a time when star-driven comedies are struggling mightily on the big screen."

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

Eurovision, which began in Switzerland in 1956, remains a relatively obscure event in the United States, despite past 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 though he did not appear in it.

Ferrell is famous for roles in movies like Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) and Step Brothers (2008).


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'Will Ferrell to star in Eurovision movie'. Subscribe