Rami Malek In Talks for Buster Keaton Role in Upcoming Miniseries

Rami Malek

Rami Malek is reportedly in talks to play comedy legend Buster Keaton, who was not only an actor and comedian but also a filmmaker. Keaton was best known for his silent film work. His trademark was his “Great Stone Face,” which was a wide-eyed, deadpan expression that he frequently used in his roles.

Malek, 41, is in negotiations to tackle the role for an upcoming miniseries. And Deadline also notes that he’ll serve as a producer for the Warner Brothers Television-produced project.

Negotiations Are Underway

Warner Brothers Television is still working on negotiating for the rights to James Curtis’ 2022 biography Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life. The miniseries would be based on the biography. And Succession writer Ted Cohen is also in talks to pen the script and executive produce the series. Matt Reeves, who previously directed The Batman, is set to direct the project with his own 6th+Idaho Productions producing alongside David Weddle. 

Buster Keaton: The King of Silent Movies

Buster Keaton was thought of as the king of the silent movie. Not to mention, he was considered one of Hollywood’s finest comedians alongside Charlie Chaplin.

He was born in 1895 to a vaudeville family in Kansas. And it in 1917, he made his film debut in the silent comedy The Butcher Boy, which was written, directed by, and starring Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle.

Keaton’s work served as an inspiration for directors from Orson Welles to Martin Scorsese. His best-known works include the 1926 American civil war comedy The General as well as Sherlock Jr., Steamboat Bill, Jr., and Our Hospitality.

Keaton’s most famous and much-mimicked stunt occurred in Steamboat Bill Jr., where he stood motionless as the front of a building collapses forward, leaving Buster standing unharmed and framed by an open window.

After his initial rise to fame, challenges came as Hollywood made the transition from silent films to “talkies”. At that time, Keaton signed a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. However, he later went on record saying that the deal stifled his creativity. Keaton also battled alcoholism in the following years, presenting an even larger personal challenge.

He married three times, had two children, and followed a path into TV writing as the years passed. He passed on February 1, 1966, at the age of 60 due to lung cancer.

Rami Malek: A Perfect Choice for the Role

Is this the perfect casting? There’s no denying the physical similarity between Rami Malek and the late Buster Keaton. And there’s certainly no denying Malek’s talent. He took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen’s Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Additionally, he starred as the lead in the USA Network’s Mr. Robot, where he also took home a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. 

Fans of Malek can look forward to seeing him next in this summer’s highly-anticipated Oppenheimer from Christopher Nolan.

While there’s no additional information available on the Buster Keaton project, we’ll keep you posted as more details are announced.


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  1. Sam Esmail confirmed in a Reddit Q & A last year that he and Rami are no longer attached to the American Radical project.