Jason Priestley has been tapped to direct a biopic about late comedian Phil Hartman.

The movie is tentatively titled Nice Guy Phil and will feature actor Daran Norris as the Saturday Night Live star.

Producer Tyler Levine says Norris's similarity to Hartman is "uncanny."


Jason Priestley met Hartman when he hosted SNL in 1995.

Vancouver-born Priestley adds that he met Hartman, who was born and raised in Brantford, Ont., when he hosted SNL in early 1990s.

He called the well-regarded comic and prolific voice actor, whose credits included NewsRadio and The Simpsons, "a hero of mine."

The screenplay comes from actor Jonas Chernick and the film will be shot in Canada and the United States with production slated for next summer.

"Knowing I was a Canadian like him, Phil treated me differently. He was a hero of mine. Still is. I'm excited to tell his story," Priestley said Thursday in a release.

Phil Hartman

Hartman, seen in 1996's Jingle All the Way, was posthumously inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2012, with his brother Paul Hartman, left, standing in on his behalf. (Chris Young/Canadian Press/Getty Images)