Blockers director Kay Cannon has been tasked with directing the upcoming biopic Del & Charna. This will mark the third time Cannon is taking the reins on a feature-length film as she’s also on board to direct a Sony’s live-action musical version of Cinderella starring Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter.
Comedy fans may have already guessed from the title but for those out of the loop, Del & Charna will be a biopic focused on comedy legends Del Close and Charna Halpern. Per a press release from the team behind Del & Charna, Red Crown Productions, the film will tell “the true story of the unlikely pairing of eccentric improv legend, Del Close and feisty comedy theater owner, Charna Halpern. The movie chronicles their tumultuous 19-year relationship, which saw them as friends, saviors, and soulmates. Together, these two helped each other overcome his addiction, financial ruin, and their own personal demons to ultimately establish improv as an art form, launching the careers of some of our most beloved comedians, writers, and directors.”
Included in the statement from Red Crown announcing Del & Charna was a comment from Halpern, who built Chicago’s Improv Olympic — formidable comedy training ground — with Close. She remarked,
“My life with Del was always funny, sometimes scary and extremely profound. I’m overjoyed to finally share our story with the world.”
Additionally, Red Crown Productions founder Daniel Crown shared this in the same statement,
“We are thrilled to bring the story of Del Close and Charna Halpern, two comedic icons to the screen and explore how their evolving relationship impacted the history of comedy and influenced future performers. We look forward to partnering with Kay Cannon, whose comedic filmmaking has brought the genre to new heights.”
Close and Halpern stand as legends in the comedy community, having mentored and fostered the careers of the comedy icons we know today, including Mike Meyers, Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, and many, many more. Close, who passed away in 1999, was considered a forefather of modern improv, teaching the like of John Belushi, Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Gilda Radnor while carving out a niche for himself as somewhat of an iconoclast when it came to the establishment’s deployment of improv.
Del & Charna will be written by Rich Talarico (Key & Peele) and Alex Fendrich (Teachers). It will be produced by Crown and Yoni Liebling as well as Cannon and Laverne McKinnon (Girlboss).
For more, check out our roundup of the 35 best comedies of the 21st century — so far.