Rob Zombie is a pretty busy guy, as his Halloween horror film 31 is currently in post-production and his music career is sill going strong. What’s next for the rocker-turned-filmmaker? Well it sounds like he’s stepping away from horror for a bit.
Variety reports today that Rob Zombie is set to produce and direct a Groucho Marx biopic, covering the final years of the iconic comedian’s life. The project is based on the 1996 book Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House, written by Steve Soliar after spending three years as Marx’s personal secretary.
Zombie has of course up to this point only made horror films, though he has in the past expressed an interest in venturing outside the walls of the genre. And when you think about it, him directing a Groucho Marx film isn’t actually all that surprising, as he’s proven himself to be a huge fan over the years.
As pointed out in The Devil’s Rejects, the character names in both House of 1000 Corpses and the sequel were directly lifted from the names of characters Marx played throughout his career, including Captain Spaulding, Otis Driftwood, Wolf J. Flywheel, Rufus Firefly and S. Quentin Quale.
“I have been a huge Groucho Marx fan ever since I was a child and have read countless book on the comic legend, but after reading the book Raised Eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged,” says Zombie. “I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s Sunset Boulevard and knew I had to bring it to the big screen. It is a sad, funny and very dark tale of a one of Hollywood’s greatest stars final years.”
Woody Allen hailed Raised Eyebrows as “one of the best books about a show-business icon I’ve ever read,” while the late Jack Lemmon called it “a fascinating study of a man who was one of the kings of comedy.” Screenwriter Oren Moverman will adapt the book for Zombie to direct.