Cheech and Chong, the legendary comedians of the stoner counterculture, will soon be smoking their way onto the big screen, thanks to a biopic now in the works by Hidden Pictures. The duo (Cheech Marin, now 76, and Tommy Chong, now 84) came to prominence with its cannabis-soaked film Up in Smoke, puffed out in 1978.
Now, nearly half a century later, a full-length biopic about the pair is being planned by Todd Lieberman’s Hidden Pictures, which is teaming up with Marin and Chong, Underground, and Five All in the Fifth Entertainment.The upcoming biopic will be directed by Kristian Mercado from a script by Danya Jimenez and Hannah McMechan. Marin and Chong will serve as executive producers along with David Glickman.
In addition to Up in Smoke, the comedic duo is renowned for a few other low-budget flicks, all of which have achieved cult status. They include Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980), Nice Dreams (1981), Still Smokin (1983), and Get Out of My Room (1985) An animated feature, Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie! appeared in 2013. The two men also are noted for their stand-up shows and comedy albums. The group broke up in 1985 but resumed their collaboration in 2004.
In announcing the new biopic project, Marin and Chong declared: “We are excited to show the world how two dudes from completely different backgrounds got together, changed comedy, and made cannabis mainstream!”
And, speaking from the perspective of a younger generation, producer Trevor Engelson stated that “Working with Cheech and Chong is a childhood dream of mine. I used to listen to my father’s copy of their albums growing up, so to help bring their incredible true story to a new generation of fans is a real honor.”
Cheech and Chong initially met in the late 1960s, when hippiedom was in flower and stoner culture was inspiring a whole generation of young Boomers to get high with some help from their friends. The Los Angeles-born Cheech Marin had fled to Canada to escape the draft during the Vietnam war; it was there that he met the Edmonton-born Tommy Chong. Both remain active in their careers: Marin appears in the recent movie Champions with Woody Harrelson and Kaitlin Olson. Meanwhile, Chong is reprising his role in That ‘70s Show for That ‘90s Show, a new sequel series by Netflix.
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