By Mike Fleming Jr.
May 23, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Director Peter Farrelly finally is ready to follow his Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book. Apple Studios is in talks to finance The Greatest Beer Run Ever, with Zac Efron and Russell Crowe in talks to star and Bill Murray is being courted for a supporting role.
Since that victorious Oscar Night, Farrelly has had his sights set on this film, which he developed with Skydance. He co-wrote the script with Brian Currie and Pete Jones, based on the bestselling book The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and War by Chick Donahue and J.T. Molloy. The film will produced by Andrew Muscato and Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger. I’m hearing that they are tying down the details but that the film will be made as an Apple Original Films title.
Beer Run tells Donohue’s story of leaving New York in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army — while they are fighting in Vietnam. Donohue took a good idea to the extreme, hitching a ride on a Merchant Marine ship, then carrying the beer through the jungle as he tried to track down his three friends. Dressed in shorts and Hawaiian shirts, he was mistaken for CIA, which made his effort a bit easier. Finally, when he completed his beer run, the Tet Offensive happened. Efron will play Donohue. The hope is to start production in August, probably in New Zealand or Australia.
Farrelly’s Green Book won three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. His co-star Viggo Mortensen also was nominated, and the $23 million-budget film grossed $321 million worldwide.
Apple continues to lean in on star-driven feature fare after landing Oscar noms for Wolfwalkers and Greyhound.
Efron is shooting Season 2 of Down to Earth for Netflix, and he’ll next headline the Firestarter remake for Blumhouse and Universal. He’s repped by CAA, Alchemy and Felker Toczek.
Crowe, coming off the Solstice Studios road-rage movie Unhinged, is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ George Freeman and Goodman Genow. Farrelly is with CAA, Anonymous Content and Lichter Grossman. Donohue and Malloy are repped by attorney Rob Szymanski.