Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in Netflix's National Lampoon origin pic

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Joel McHale has signed on to play comedy icon Chevy Chase in Netflix's "A Futile and Stupid Gesture," the biopic on National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney.

Will Forte will play Kenney. Domhnall Gleeson will portray other co-founder Henry Beard in the feature being directed by David Wain.

Kenney was the editor of the Harvard Lampoon when he met Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman, which, soon after graduation, resulted in the creation of National Lampoon, the humor magazine that became a major force and brand in 1970s comedy. Kenney ended up going Hollywood and succumbed to drug and alcohol issues before falling off a cliff in Hawaii under mysterious circumstances.

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Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in Netflix's National Lampoon origin pic
400303 03: Ready-to-be-shipped DVDs roll down an assembly line January 29, 2002 in San Jose, CA. The online DVD rental site Netflix.com has 500,000 subscribers who can rent, receive and return unlimited discs per month by mail. (Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
400303 01: Netflix.com Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings holds a ready-to-be-shipped DVD January 29, 2002 in San Jose, CA. The online DVD rental site has 500,000 subscribers who can rent, receive and return unlimited discs per month by mail. (Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
400303 05: Packages of DVDs await shipment at the Netflix.com headquarters January 29, 2002 in San Jose, CA. The online DVD rental site has 500,000 subscribers who can rent, receive and return unlimited discs per month by mail. (Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gives a keynote address, January 6, 2016 at the CES 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Chase was a close friend of Kenney and also starred in the Kenney-penned "Caddyshack" as well as the National Lampoon "Vacation" franchise. Chase was also with Kenney in Hawaii prior to his death.

"Stupid Gesture" is eyeing an April start with a budget in the $15 million to $20 million range.

Peter Principato and Jonathan Stern are producing. Ed Helms is executive producing along with Colton and Aboud. Ben Ormand, Ted Hamm and Sean McKittrick are also exec producing.

McHale and Chase co-starred for five seasons on the NBC comedy "Community," making the casting all the more interesting. He is repped by WME. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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