Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was a Falstaffian silent film star and progenitor of every fat-guy-fall-down movie to come, but odds are most people remember him as the guy who raped unfortunately named actress Virginia Rappe with a Coca-Cola bottle before killing her, despite the fact that such sordid details were just the invention of the tabloids and Arbuckle was ultimately cleared of all charges. Now the sad story of Arbuckle’s cruel fall from grace and the impact it had on his career will get the biopic treatment from HBO, which has cast Modern Family’s own lovably corpulent Eric Stonestreet, who’s long campaigned to play Arbuckle, in a new film from John Adams writer Kirk Ellis and director Barry Levinson. The in-development project is currently titled The Day The Laughter Stopped—though it’s not to be confused with the day The A.V. Club switched to a new commenting system and no one was ever allowed to have fun ever again.
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