Rob Zombie will direct Groucho Marx biopic Raised Eyebrows

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the 2019 release of Rob Zombie’s 3 from Hell. However, what’s going on with Raised Eyebrows?

“They’re almost like surrealists.” – Rob Zombie on the Marx Brothers

A New Zombie in the Future?

While everyone in the horror community is anxiously awaiting the release of Rob Zombie’s latest effort, 3 from Hell, I am actually wondering about another movie he has had in development since 2015. It may come as a surprise to some of his fans but it is actually a comedy!

I have always dug Rob’s music. His turn on Jon Favreau’s Dinner for Five with legend Roger Corman and Bruce Campbell was pretty engaging. I found out there is more to this guy than just scaring movie audiences.

As it turns out, Zombie is a huge fan of Groucho Marx. Hard to believe but here is what he had to say about the comedian to Vice. When he was growing up, Marx’s gameshow, You Bet Your Life was on local tv all the time. In his words, “I was hooked on it.”

As for Groucho’s comedic style, “I always loved Groucho’s double entendres and quick quips, where it seemed like he was on script but ad-libbing at the same time. They were just so bizarre.” Apparently, Rob is an admirer of Tim Burton’s terrific movie, Ed Wood and was in the market for something similar to direct.

As it just so happens, in an interview Zombie mentioned that his favorite book was Raised Eyebrows written by Groucho’s former assistant, Steve Stoliar. It details the last years of the comedian’s life through Stoliar’s eyes.

Oren Moverman who also wrote the adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s novella, The Big Blow is writing the film along with Stoliar. Zombie is producing his work along with Miranda Bailey, Andy Gould and Amanda Marshall according to IMDb Pro.

Groucho Marx – courtesy of NBC

Transitioning

Of course, when people first found out that he was directing a film about a Hollywood legend, they were skeptical. I have to admit when I first heard the news, I thought someone was making a joke. Then when I found out the property was in development, I reconsidered my initial impression.

Why not? Does every creative personality need to be pigeon-holed into the genre that they started their careers in? Absolutely not!

Like every artist, Zombie should be allowed the freedom to grow and develop his skills as a director. He clearly has a love for the process and for movies in general. Some prominent filmmakers have their roots in horror but transitioned into more conventional genres like drama and even romance.

For example, Wes Craven directed Oscar winner Meryl Streep in a wonderful biopic called Music of the Heart.  Streep portrayed a music instructor who fights to teach the violin to kids in Harlem.

Steven Spielberg started his career as a director helming two episodes of Rod Serling’s paranormal series, Night Gallery. Later, he went on to direct the terrifying Duel starring Dennis Weaver.  Now, he is in pre-production to direct one of the most romantic musicals of all time, West Side Story.

So, do I think Rob Zombie can direct a movie about Groucho Marx? I sure do and guess what? I will be buying a ticket!

How do you feel about Rob Zombie directing non-horror films? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.