February 15, 2017 – Chicago, IL) Comedy icon Mike Myers will star as the legendary “father of improvisational comedy” Del Close, Myers’s own mentor, in the upcoming comedy Del, which will be directed by the award-winning Betty Thomas (Private Parts, 28 Days).
The film follows an aspiring performer as he is taken under the wing of Del Close, an infamous teacher notorious for pushing his students to their limit. What begins as a disastrous relationship ultimately transforms each of them in this hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt comedy.
After years of touring with improv troupes and the Grateful Dead, Del Close returned to his hometown of Chicago in 1972 to direct and perform with iconic comedy theater The Second City. Close served as “house metaphysician” at Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s, and a number of the world’s most celebrated comedians are among his protégés, including Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Tina Fey. Close spent his last decades teaching improv at Yes and Productions and the ImprovOlympic Theater before his death in 1999.
“I am thrilled we are able to tell the story of this mercurial genius.He forced our actors to work at the top of their intelligence and influenced a generation of talent,” said Andrew Alexander, who has co-owned The Second City since 1985.
“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” said Paul Hanson. “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.”
Hanson, along with Covert Media, will produce with Diane Alexander, Bob Teitel (Southside with You, Barbershop) of State Street Pictures and Thruline Entertainment’s Ron West. Executive Producers on the project are Andrew Alexander of The Harold Ramis Film School and The Second City, Covert’s Elissa Friedman (Ophelia, Resurface). Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro (Fading Gigolo, Ophelia) and Anton Lessine (Fading Gigolo, Fury), and Thurline’s Chris Henze.
Del is written by screenwriter Nick Torokvei and Anthony Richmond ASC, BSC (Legally Blonde, Men of Honor, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don’t Look Now) who will serve as Director of Photography on the film.
Mike Myers is an award-winning actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer. He got his start on stage at The Second City before becoming a featured player on Saturday Night Live, which earned him a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Writing. Myers is globally recognized for his title roles in Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers series and the Shrek franchise, which brought in over $2.9 billion at the global box office.
Covert Media is fully financing the project and will launch worldwide sales on the film in Berlin.
Mike Myers is represented by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Thomas is represented by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. The deals were negotiated on behalf of Covert by Chet Devaskar, Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs.