Close, who worked at Chicago’s Second City and ‘SNL,’ trained many of comedy’s great talents including Myers, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.
In a new film called Del, Mike Myers will portray one of his own mentors, Del Close, an early influencer of improv comedy who also was known for training many notable comic actors.
Betty Thomas (Private Parts, 28 Days) will direct the comedy, in which Myers plays the legendary teacher notorious for pushing his students to their limit. Close takes an aspiring comedian under his wing, and the relationship, which is first disastrous, eventually transforms each of them.
in the 1970s, Close coached many aspiring comedians at the Chicago improv powerhouse Second City, and in the early 1980s he served as “house metaphysician” at NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Over the years, a significant number of the show’s cast have been Close protégés, including Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Tina Fey and many others. Close spent the mid- to late 1980s and 1990s teaching improv at Yes, And Productions and the ImprovOlympic Theater before his death in 1999.
Nick Torokvei wrote the screenplay for the film, which will be produced by Covert Media CEO Paul Hanson alongside Thomas, Second City’s Diane Alexander, Robert Teitel of State Street Pictures and Thruline Entertainment’s Ron West. Andrew Alexander, Covert’s Elissa Friedman, Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine and Thruline’s Chris Henze will executive produce.
Covert is fully financing the project, and will launch worldwide sales in Berlin.
“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” said Hanson. “A pioneer of his craft, Close has passed his knowledge of humor and improv to the group of comedians that everyone knows today and this hilarious script examines that intimate relationship with his students that has made them so successful.”
Myers got his start at Second City before becoming a featured performer on SNL, where he earned an Emmy for outstanding writing. He has starred in Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers series and the Shrek films, and will next be seen in the film Terminal with Margot Robbie. Meyers is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment.
Thomas’ other directorial efforts have included Doctor Dolittle, John Tucker Must Die and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. She is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.
The deals were negotiated on behalf of Covert by Chet Devaskar, executive vp legal and business affairs.