Mike Myers will play improv mentor Del Close in the upcoming biopic “Del,” to be directed by Betty Thomas.
Covert Media’s CEO Paul Hanson will produce the film alongside Thomas, The Second City’s Diane Alexander, State Street Pictures’ Robert Teitel, and Thruline Entertainment’s Ron West. Covert Media is fully financing and launching international sales at the Berlin Film Festival.
Executive producers are Harold Ramis Film School/Second City’s Andrew Alexander, Covert’s Elissa Friedman, Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro, and Anton Lessine, along with Thruline’s Chris Henze.
Thomas will direct “Del” from a script by Nick Torokvei. The film follows an aspiring comedian who is counseled by Close, who was notorious for pushing his students to their limits. He’s best known for teaching students at Chicago’s Second City, including Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Tina Fey. Close later taught at the ImprovOlympic Theater before his death in 1999.
“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” Hanson said. “A pioneer of his craft, Close has passed his knowledge of humor and improv to the group of comedians that everyone knows today and this hilarious script examines that intimate relationship with his students that has made them so successful.”
Myers got his start on stage at Second City before becoming a featured performer on “Saturday Night Live” and going on to star in the “Wayne’s World” and “Austin Powers” franchises, along with voicing Shrek in the four animated films. Myers will next be seen in “Terminal” with Margot Robbie.
Thomas won an acting Emmy for “Hill Street Blues” and a directing Emmy for “Dream On.” Her feature directing credits include “Private Parts,” “28 Days,” and “John Tucker Must Die.”
Myers is represented by WME and Untitled Entertainment, while Thomas is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. The deals were negotiated on behalf of Covert by Chet Devaskar.