“When I’m doing a franchise, it’s usually better to just do it and ask for forgiveness rather than permission,” Yankovic said, recalling the disappointment of long before teaming up with Daniel Radcliffe for “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story .”
Add “Weird Al” Yankovic to the growing list of artists belittled by the higher educated at Warner Bros.
No, the parody musician didn’t have a streaming project in the Discovery merger; his biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” debuted on TIFF in September and is distributed by The Roku Channel. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter promoting Eric Appel’s new film, Yankovic previously complained about one of the many properties that he has been denied the right to parody due to a major movie studio. The bad guy? Harry Potter.
“Whenever it was, about a decade or two ago, I would approach the film company just to get a general blessing, like, ‘Hey, I’d like to do a Harry Potter parody,'” Yankovic recalled. himself. “And I think they said no, or they never responded or whatever… But sometimes when you’re dealing with franchises and you ask permission, you know, there are so many people who can say no, and they do usually too.”
It is an ironic anecdote on (at least) two fronts. First, Harry Potter and its soundtrack have been parodied endlessly: appearing in everything from the YouTube sensation “Potter Puppet Pals” to the stage production “A Very Potter Musical” by Darren Criss and AJ Holmes. Potter parody is now an oversaturated market and, assuming Yankovic’s timeline is correct, it wasn’t much less crowded back then.
Second, Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter herself – would go on to play an elevated version of Yankovic in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” The pair struck up a friendship during production with Yankovic extensively helping Radcliffe prepare.
“Honestly, what we worked on together the most was the accordion,” Radcliffe told IndieWire at TIFF. “He gave me some accordion lessons, something I can take with me to my grave that I had that moment. I do not need more.”
“[Yankovic] is so authentically himself and that led to this wonderful film, as well as his incredible career,” Radcliffe continued. “This is not a movie where we expect you to sit down and take a moral out of the story. But if something is going on, it’s about leaning on your own weirdness and that’s a way to find your own happiness.”
It’s a message Yankovic repeated again in his interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “When I’m doing a franchise, it’s usually better to just do it and ask for forgiveness rather than permission,” he continued, before joking: “We like to think that [‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’] is the final film of the Harry Potter franchise.”
“Maybe this movie is,” Radcliffe said, also telling the Hollywood Reporter. “This has been his way of making a Harry Potter parody.”