Myers will play his former mentor in a new film directed by Betty Thomas ('28 Days')

By Nick Romano
February 09, 2017 at 01:52 PM EST
Bennett Raglin/WireImage

The mentee becomes the mentor in DelMike Myers will play Del Close, the legendary comedy teacher and his former mentor at The Second City Network, in the new film directed by Betty Thomas (28 Days).

Based on a screenplay by Nick Torokvei, the film focuses on Close and a young comedian he takes under his wing. While the relationship proves initially disastrous, the process transforms them both.

Paul Hanson, CEO of Covert Media, announced Myers’ casting on Thursday. He’ll produce Del alongside Thomas, Diane Alexander, Robert Teitel, and Ron West. Andrew Alexander, Elissa Friedman, Sasha Shapiro, Anton Lessine, and Chris Henze will serve as executive producers.

Beginning in the 1970s, Close coached many well-known comedians, including those from The Second City Network and those who went on to perform on Saturday Night Live. In addition to Myers, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, and John Belushi appeared in the documentary Thank You, Del to honor the icon.

“I think the most important thing that Del taught me was to be creatively brave,” Poehler says in the trailer, “to take risks, to not be afraid to fail.” Watch it below.

Myers spoke fondly about Close, as well. In an interview with Rolling Stone for Austin Powers, the actor remarked, “He was a comedy guru, the Stanislavsky of improv. He would say things like, ‘If you treat the audience as poets and kings, they respond in kind.'” In a 2010 appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly, Myers said Close taught him that a true artist “makes things.”

“So when you ask me what I do,” he added, “I say I make things.”

“Mike Myers is a comedy genius and the perfect actor to inhabit this complicated, funny, poignant character,” Hanson said in a statement. “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.”

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