Eight months ago I was told that Josh Gad was “more or less on-board” (i.e., not contractually but emotionally and intentionally) to play Roger Ebert in Russ & Roger Go Beyond, a fact-based comedy about the making of Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. Today The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit reported that Gad’s people and the Russ & Roger guys have finally “closed the deal.” Terrific, guys — it only took two-thirds of a year!

I still maintain that Jonah Hill, who knows from erudite and whipsmart and intellectual confidence, would have been a much better choice to play the late critic.

Who’s actually seen Beyond The Valley, etc.? I started to watch it once and then turned it off. 27 year-old Ebert wrote the absurdist screenplay under the tutelage of softcore producer Russ Meyer (to be played by Will Ferrell in the film). 20th Century Fox financed and distributed the mind-bending, mildly awful sex farce about an all-girl rock band, opening it on 6.17.70.