BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

It was sort of inevitable that movie critic and screenwriter 's life story would end up on film in some way and now, following his death earlier this year, Emmy award-winning scribe Christopher Cluess's (Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons) true story script Russ and Roger Go Beyond is finally getting the go-ahead.

According to, the movie will deal with the curious relationship between Ebert and legendary movie-maker (Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, Kill) during the making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the massively successful schlock melodrama of 1970.

Here's part of the press announcement detailing the new movie:

At the end of the 60's when films like Easy Rider and Bonnie & Clyde were reaching new audiences, Meyer, the outlaw director of soft-core pulp films like Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill, Kill was given the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of directing a studio film by , then head of 20th Century Fox. The studio was struggling with a string of big budget failures and Zanuck thought Meyer was the solution. He offered him Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Meyer agreed on the condition that Ebert, then the third string film critic for the Chicago Sun Times (who had written one of the few positive reviews of his work) would write the script. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls became a struggle between the outsider filmmakers and the establishment studio's board of directors, particularly over the film's rating. Meyer, Ebert and Zanuck were ultimately vindicated when Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was released in 1970 to huge box office success.

Although at this early stage not much else is known about the production, are you pleased that a portion of Ebert's life is poised to be immortalized on-screen?



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