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After Daniel Radcliffe As Weird Al Yankovic Photos Leak, The Director Has A Pretty Snarky Response

Daniel Radcliffe on the Harry Potter 20th anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Daniel Radcliffe’s next big role has nothing to do with Harry Potter, but it sure does feel like magic. Last month the shocking announcement was made that Radcliffe would portray “Weird Al” Yankovic in the upcoming Roku biopic — news that was simultaneously baffling and perfect. Fans eager to see how the actor would transform into the parody song genius got a first look recently, after photos of Radcliffe in costume leaked from the set of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, much to the dismay of the movie’s director.

Eric Appel, who co-wrote the biopic with Weird Al himself and is serving as director, had a sarcastic response after Daniel Radcliffe was photographed on set in a wig to portray Weird Al Yankovic’s trademark curly hair. As the photos began to circulate on social media, the director lamented the way in which the much-anticipated first look occurred, commenting on Twitter

So happy that people are first seeing Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al the way I intended them to - in the basecamp parking lot, partially costumed and shot with a telephoto lens from across the street.

I can’t blame Eric Appel for feeling a little snarky. He surely knew how excited fans would be to see the former boy wizard embody the character of the beloved musician, and that first impression is important. I’m not sure how much the Harry Potter fan base overlaps with the Weird Al Yankovic fan base, but I know they’re both rabidly loyal. To not be able to control that first look — and the quality of those first photos — must have eaten at Appel, who said Radcliffe was only partially in costume at the time. 

The reveal might be a bummer, but don’t worry — it’s not real until we hear Daniel Radcliffe sing the polka. 

Weird Al Yankovic fans likely remember that over a decade ago Eric Appel wrote and directed a Funny or Die movie trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which hinted this project might someday come to fruition. The trailer featured Aaron Paul as Yankovic and some other big names in supporting roles, including Gary Cole and Mary Steenburgen as his parents and Olivia Wilde as Madonna. Other than Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role, the Roku project’s cast has not yet been confirmed.

The new project will follow “Weird Al" Yankovic throughout his long and illustrious career, starting with the early days during his rise to fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with parodies of major hits from artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Joan Jett, to name a few. 

Daniel Radcliffe most recently appeared in HBO Max’s long-awaited Harry Potter reunion special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, and will presumably be back to head up another season of the era-jumping comedy Miracle Workers. While waiting to hear more news about the upcoming biopic, check out what else to watch if you like Daniel Radcliffe, and head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way!

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.