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Discussions asre underway at Warner Bros. Television to develop a new limited series about Buster Keaton, the iconic comedian who delighted audiences a century ago during the silent-film era.
If all goes as planned, Batman director Matt Reeves would direct and produce the series, which would see Rami Malek in the title role. Warner Bros. is talking with Ted Cohen about writing the script and serving as executive producer. The studio is also reportedly negotiating the rights to James Curtis’s 2022 biography, Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life.
Keaton (1895-1966) is often ranked with Charlie Chaplin as one of the most significant comedy stars of his generation. A child-star veteran of vaudeville, Keaton first appeared in Fatty Arbuckle’s silent comedy The Butcher Boy. He is remembered for his slapstick routines and his deadpan facials, which earned him the sobriquet of “The Great Stone Face.”
Among Keaton’s other early flicks are Sherlock, Jr., Steamboat Bill, Jr., and Our Hospitality. His most impressive film is regarded to be The General, which he made in 1926, just as the silent-film era was coming to a close. In this flick, Keaton played the role of a Confederate engineer trying to recapture a steam locomotive that had been captured by Union forces during the American Civil War. Keaton’s last commercial appearance was in the 1966 film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Rami Malek’s recent roles include that of Elliot Alderson in the Mr. Robot television series. He received much critical acclaim for playing the part of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, the 2018 biopic by Bryan Singer. For that role, he captured a Best Actor trophy at the Oscars. He also appeared in The War at Home, The Pacific, Short Term 12, Papillon, and No Time to Die.
Matt Reeves is currently working on directing The Batman 2 as well as executive-producing HBO Max’s spinoff series The Penguin with Colin Farrell, who was quoted in IndieWire as saying: “Matt’s up to his bollocks, you know, hovering over the keyboard and just planning the story because he’s just so meticulous, He’s so obsessive about what he does…And so, it’s exciting.”
A production schedule for the new Keaton series has not yet been revealed.