Chris Farley biopic: 5 parts that need to be perfectly cast


A Chris Farley biopic is in development, bringing the legendary Saturday Night Live cast member's life story to the big screen. It's still early in the process, but it is essential that the film cast key figures in Farley's life perfectly.

Actor Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya, Richard Jewell) is attached to star as Farley. Making his directorial debut, Josh Gad will helm the untitled project. It will be an adaptation of the biography The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts written by the late comedian's brother Tom.

According to Variety, the project is still being shopped around Hollywood. But the expectation is that it won't be on the market for long. Once it finds a home, casting will be a crucial next step. In order to best tell Farley's story, these five parts need to find the perfect performer to bring them to life on screen.

Lorne Michaels

Let's get the obvious one out of the way first. Any movie about a Saturday Night Live star has to include Lorne Michaels. A Chris Farley biopic is no exception.

Michaels was back at SNL when Farley joined the cast in 1990. It was Michaels who brought in the so-called "Bad Boys of SNL" which included Farley, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Adam Sandler, among others.

Lorne Michaels will already be portrayed in a movie by the time the Farley movie hits theaters. Actor Gabriel LaBelle plays Michaels in the upcoming SNL 1975 about the show's first episode. Could a convincing performance start the "SNL Cinematic Universe" and see LaBelle reprise his role?

Regardless of who plays him, Lorne Michaels will likely have a say. He's serving as a producer on the Chris Farley biopic.

Thomas Farley Sr.

Chris Farley had a strong bond with his father, Thomas Farley. Comments from the Farley family and those who knew Chris best agreed that his father was a powerful influence.

In an A&E biography, Farley's brother claimed that Chris really only wanted to make his father laugh. He added that all of Chris' characters were some version of their father. Adam Sandler's tribute song to Farley also included a reference to the late comedian's relationship with his father.

Therefore, it's essential that the Chris Farley biopic cast someone who can develop a visible chemistry with Paul Walter Hauser. The Farley family has given the movie its blessing, adding even more importance on getting the part right.

David Spade

It's impossible to think about a Chris Farley movie without thinking of David Spade. The two collaborated on the cult classics Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. And of course, Spade was there for Farley's most memorable SNL sketch as Matt Foley.

The pair were incredibly close at Saturday Night Live and their dynamic inspired Lorne Michaels to produce a movie they could star in together. The fact that Spade continues to answer questions about Farley is a testament to how their comedic pairing was lightning in a bottle.

It won't be easy to find an actor who can accurately portray David Spade's signature style and delivery. Even harder will be finding someone who can deliver a believable repartee with Hauser's version of Farley.

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler may not be as synonymous with Chris Farley as David Spade, but he's not far behind in terms of closeness with the comedian. Sandler and Farley teamed up on some classic SNL sketches like "Gap Girls," "Lunch Lady" and "Hank & Beverly."

Look no further than Sandler's emotional tribute to Chris Farley for proof of how deep their friendship ran. It's easy to picture Farley playing a key role in the dozen of Sandler movies that came after his death.

The Chris Farley biopic needs to find a passable Adam Sandler to depict the "Bad Boys of SNL" era when Farley made a name for himself.

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman was there for nearly the entirety of Chris Farley's run on Saturday Night Live. It was Hartman who went face-to-face with Matt Foley in the iconic sketch.

Any history of Saturday Night Live notes the importance of Phil Hartman and how beloved he was as a person and performer. It's easy to see why Farley and other members of his generation looked up to Hartman as a mentor.

The season 19 finale featured a memorable sketch in which Hartman and Farley, as Matt Foley, said goodbye. It's eerie to watch now as both Hartman and Farley left us far too soon. This famous moment in SNL history should be recreated in the Chris Farley biopic, assuming they find the right man for the job.

Honorable Mention: Stephen Colbert, who started at Chicago's Second City Theatre the same day as Farley; Bob Odenkirk, who wrote the Matt Foley character at Second City; Patrick Swayze, Farley's co-star in the famous Chippendale sketch; Conan O'Brien, an SNL writer and late-night TV host; Chris Rock, another "Bad Boy of SNL."