In what is easily some of the strangest news of the week, at least at first sight, is that Rob Zombie’s next project as a director is a biopic on comedic legend Groucho Marx. Deadline first reported the pairing of horror guru Zombie and Marx, and the film will be adapted from Steve Stoliar’s memoir Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House.
Stoliar, who lived with Groucho in the last few years of his life, wrote about the somewhat strange and contentious final times of the comedian. Apparently, there is enough strange and interesting material that Zombie’s involvement with a former Hollywood icon sounds less bizarre. Zombie had an interesting take on the story, saying “I have been a huge Groucho Marx fan ever since I was a child and have read countless book on the comic legend, but after reading the book Raised Eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged.
I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s Sunset Boulevard,” he added, “and knew I had to bring it to the big screen. It is a sad, funny and very dark tale of a one of Hollywood’s greatest stars final years.”
Sunset Boulevard is an interesting angle for Rob Zombie to go with, and if he can pull off the at least a hint of the off-kilter tone in the Billy Wilder classic perhaps he can effectively break away from horror. Zombie is a talented filmmaker, at least I think he is, but his films are extremely hit or miss. His last few ventures into the horror genre (Halloween II, The Lords of Salem) have gotten progressively worse in my opinion, so maybe this will be a chance for Zombie to show off his talented eye in another avenue of storytelling.
Rob Zombie will be working on a script from Oren Moverman, who recently penned the screenplay for the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.