Casting an actor in a biopic is never easy; the actor not only has to look like the subject he or she is portraying, but they also have to inhabit that person’s spirit. Sometimes Hollywood gets this right, other times they get it so wrong. The upcoming Netflix movie centering on the founding of National Lampoon has thus far nailed its casting. That trend has most definitely continued, as we’ve just learned that Joel McHale has been cast to portray comedian Chevy Chase.
According to a brand new report from THR, David Wain’s upcoming National Lampoon biopic, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, has enlisted none other than Joel McHale to portray comedy icon Chevy Chase. Chase played an integral role in the early successes of the National Lampoon movies, and McHale will play him as a close friend of the movie’s troubled protagonist, Douglas Kenney. Chase was actually with Kenney shortly before his death in 1980, so we as an audience can likely assume we'll see laughs and tears in equal measure.
We have to say: we think the people in charge of A Futile and Stupid Gesture’s casting have absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one. Aside from the fact that Joel McHale could almost certainly pass for a young Chevy Chase, both comedians have developed reputations for employing similar styles of dry sarcasm in their performances. Compared to some of their more wacky contemporaries, both McHale and Chase have become known for their more subtle delivery of lines, and their overall sardonic on-screen personas.
Just watch this scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation. It would be easy to see Joel McHale pulling off the same type of scene in a modern remake – unlike the one we got.
Additionally, Joel McHale likely has an insight into the real Chevy Chase that few other actors can truly understand. The two spent years working side by side on the set of Dan Harmon’s Community, and as such it only feels natural that an actor such as McHale would get the honor of portraying this comedy icon.
Overall, A Futile and Stupid Gesture has begun to assemble an impeccable cast. In addition to Joel McHale, the Netflix film has also enlisted the acting talents of Domhnall Gleeson, as well as Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte. Under the direction of David Wain, we feel incredibly confident that this film could experience some insane success.
What do you think of this casting decision? Could you see anyone else taking on the role of Chevy Chase? Let us know what you think in the comments. We will keep you posted regarding all of the latest and greatest updates pertaining to A Futile and Stupid Gesture as the film goes into production later this month.