Earlier this year it was confirmed that Mike Myers had signed on to play legendary Chicago improv coach Del Close in a biopic called Del, but now the project is looking to recast the role. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Myers has dropped out of the project, which is written by Nick Torokvei and based on the book Guru by Jeff Griggs, with Second City alum Betty Thomas (Private Parts) attached to direct. Thomas told the Sun-Times that she’s in talks with “an unidentified major star” to take on the role: “They love it and they want to do it, and that’s all I can say.” The movie will “depict Close through the eyes of an aspiring Chicago improviser he takes under his wing,” with Tony-winning actor Alex Sharp attached to play Close’s protégé.
Produced by Second City co-owner Andrew Alexander, Del has been in development for years now, along with a competing Close biopic by Charna Halpern. Harold Ramis expressed interest in making a Del Close movie back in 2006, saying at the time that only Bill Murray could play the starring role: “I think Bill is the only one who I can imagine playing Del.” It’s unknown yet which “major star” is currently in talks to take over the role after Myers’s departure, but according to a source involved in the project, the hope is to cast the part and begin filming sometime in the winter or spring.
UPDATE: According to an update from Deadline, financing for the film is also “falling apart,” so Del will unfortunately “not go forward this year.”