Will Ferrell's 'Eurovision' Netflix Movie
The ‘Eurovision Song Contest,’ known for showcasing ridiculous acts like Ukraine’s Verka Serdyuchka (2007), gender-bending performers a la Austria’s Conchita Wurst (2014), and legendary winners including Sweden’s ABBA in 1974 and Céline Dion, representing Switzerland, in 1988, will be portrayed in an upcoming Netflix movie (starring Will Ferrell). This casting only makes sense given Ferrell’s career and past roles like Ron Burgundy in ‘Anchorman.’
According to the Evening Standard, Ferrell has experienced Eurovision first-hand and is inspired by the contest. “The 50-year-old attended this year’s Eurovision Song Content and is thought to have been a fan of the event after his Swedish wife introduced him to it. During his visit Ferrell watched various stages of the competition and spent time with some of the contestants. It was then that he was reportedly given the go-ahead to make the film by the organisers.”
Since the contest is less known to US audiences, this gives Ferrell flexibility to portray how its represented to viewers. Starting in 1956 with 7 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Switzerland), the contest has grown to include 43 countries – including many non-European nations like Israel. In addition to ABBA and Céline Dion, other notable alumni include Olivia Newton-John and Scotland’s Lulu (from Absolutely Fabulous).
Being Euro-centric, the contest always involves an element of political controversy. Ukraine’s 2016 sums up its ongoing “relations” with Russia. “Ukraine has won the 2016 Eurovision song contest with an entry whose politically charged lyrics have caused tensions with neighbouring Russia. Singer-songwriter Jamala was crowned the winner for her haunting rendition of the ballad 1944, which evoked the deportation of Crimean Tatars by Josef Stalin and has been interpreted as a criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. As she collected her trophy, she pleaded for “peace and love”.” – The Guardian
There’s certainly a lot of material for Netfix and Ferrell to work with. It will be interesting how Eurovision is shown to American audiences.