Rob Zombie to Direct Groucho Marx Biopic

After referencing Groucho in ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and ‘The Devil’s Rejects,’ Zombie’s fandom hits a new peak.

Rob Zombie is working on a new film that likely won’t feature violent deaths, rejects of the devil, or a thousand corpses (probably not even one!). It’s a biopic of the legendary comedian Groucho Marx, whom Zombie has admired since childhood.

The forthcoming film will be based on Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House, the memoir of Steve Stoliar, a Marx Brothers superfan who worked as Groucho’s personal secretary and archivist during his final years. Oren Moverman will write the screenplay. Zombie will co-produce alongside Andy Gould and Cold Iron Pictures’ Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall.

Zombie spoke to Deadline about how the apparent career curveball isn’t as left field as outsiders might think:

I have been a huge Groucho Marx fan ever since I was a child and have read countless book on the comic legend, but after reading the book Raised Eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged. I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s Sunset Boulevard and knew I had to bring it to the big screen. It is a sad, funny and very dark tale of a one of Hollywood’s greatest stars final years.

Rob Zombie has paid homage to Marx in his work before. House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects feature an evil clown named Captain Spaulding, named after Groucho’s character from the 1930 film Animal Crackers.

Set in the 1970s, the book also includes appearances from Groucho’s brothers Zeppo and Gummo, and contemporaries like Mae West, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, S.J. Perelman, and Steve Allen.

Zombie is also directing and co-producing a horror film called 31 (currently shooting) about kidnapped carnival workers thrown into a deadly funhouse calledMurder World.