Rami Malek in Talks to Play Buster Keaton in Matt Reeves-Produced Series Developing at Warner Bros. Television

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Warner Bros. Television is in talks to develop a limited series based on the life of silent film star Buster Keaton. The project would star Rami Malek as Keaton.

“The Batman” director Matt Reeves would direct the limited series and produce via his 6th and Idaho Productions banner, which is under an overall deal at Warner Bros. TV. Malek and David Weddle also produce, with Ted Cohen in talks to serve as executive producer and writer. James Curtis’ 2022 biography “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life” may serve as source material for the series, as the studio is negotiating the rights for the book.

Keaton, who lived from 1895 to 1966, is thought of as one of the most prominent stars of the silent film era aside from Charlie Chaplin. He got his start as a child in vaudevile acts alongside his parents, who were traveling performers, before transitioning into film in the late 1910s. Keaton’s first movie was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s silent comedy “The Butcher Boy.” Working with high ranking creatives and executives including Douglas Fairbanks, Joseph M. Schenck and Edward F. Cline, he became known for performing exaggerated stunts and physical comedy with a deadpan facial expression. After forming Buster Keaton Productions with Schenck, he also began directing, with his best known films including “Sherlock Jr.,” “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” and “Our Hospitality,” among others. Keaton also went on to work under deals at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures as well as various independent producers.

Malek is best known for starring as Elliot Alderson in USA’s “Mr. Robot” from 2015 to 2019 as well as for playing Freddie Mercury in Bryan Singer’s 2018 biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The latter earned him the best actor award at several awards shows including the Oscars. Malek’s other credits include Fox’s “The War at Home” and HBO’s “The Pacific” as well as “Short Term 12,” “Papillon” and “No Time to Die.”

Warner Bros. declined Variety‘s request for comment.

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