Rob Zombie shared some more insights about his upcoming Groucho Marx film in a recent interview with “Jonesy’s Jukebox”. The movie is based on “Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House”, a book which was written by Steve Stoliar, a big Marx brothers fan, who had the opportunity to track the final years of Groucho’s life while serving as his personal secretary.
Zombie said: “What happened was Groucho sort of became hip again in the ’70s with college kids, even though he was in his 80s. And this one kid, Steve, who was a huge Marx brothers fan, started this drive at UCLA to get one of the films, ‘Animal Crackers’, re-released, ‘cause it had been in the vaults forever. And through doing this, he got to meet Groucho, and through that, became Groucho’s assistant. He was, like, 19 years old. But what was going on in Groucho’s Beverly Hills estate was, he was basically being controlled and abused and drugged and embezzled from. So it was, like, ‘Sunset Boulevard’ inside his house. And this kid, who’s like this super fan, is now in the middle of all this. And it’s just this really dark, weird story. And then it ends kind of sad, because Groucho died, like, three days after Elvis [Presley], and no one even noticed. So it was kind of, like, the last three years were horrible. But I thought that would be a great movie. [Laughs]”
Rob explained why he found the subject matter fascinating enough to make a movie about it. He said: “Doing a biopic is not that interesting, but if you can just isolate these last few years, it’s really intense. And then I don’t have to get into finding a young person to play Groucho, and it would seem real ‘TV movie.’ I thought you just get some great old actor who could play Groucho during that period which most people don’t remember anyway.”
Zombie and Cold Iron Pictures‘ Miranda Bailey acquired the rights to produce the film. Oren Moverman, who co-wrote “Love & Mercy”, is signed on to write the script, while Bailey will produce it with Zombie, who is also directing the movie.
The rocker/filmmaker had tried to switch film genres before with a project called “Broad Street Bullies”. The film, which was supposed to chronicle the exploits of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team during the 1970s, was unable to find financing, forcing Zombie to abandon the project.
Zombie’s directing credits include “House Of 1000 Corpses”, two “Halloween” films, “The Devil’s Rejects” and “The Lords Of Salem”.