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Joel McHale to Play Chevy Chase in Netflix’s National Lampoon Origin Pic

Joel McHale has signed on to play comedy icon Chevy Chase in Netflix’s “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” the biopic on National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney.

Will Forte will play Kenney. Domhnall Gleeson will portray other co-founder Henry Beard in the feature being directed by David Wain.

Kenney was the editor of the Harvard Lampoon when he met Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman, which, soon after graduation, resulted in the creation of National Lampoon, the humor magazine that became a major force and brand in 1970s comedy. Kenney ended up going Hollywood and succumbed to drug and alcohol issues before falling off a cliff in Hawaii under mysterious circumstances.

Chase was a close friend of Kenney and also starred in the Kenney-penned “Caddyshack” as well as the National Lampoon “Vacation” franchise. Chase was also with Kenney in Hawaii prior to his death.

“Stupid Gesture” is eyeing an April start with a budget in the $15 million to $20 million range.

Peter Principato and Jonathan Stern are producing. Ed Helms is exec producing along with Colton and Aboud. Ben Ormand, Ted Hamm and Sean McKittrick are also exec producing.

McHale and Chase co-starred for five seasons on the NBC comedy “Community,” making the casting all the more interesting. He is repped by WME. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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