Billie Eilish, her mother Maggie Baird and Darkroom Records head Justin Lubliner are set to come on board to executive produce.
Biopics are the most high-risk of genres, but done well, the payoff can be huge. Like Oscar-nominated director Todd Haynes, Michelle Williams is no stranger to them, having played Marilyn Monroe in 2011’s glorious My Week with Marilyn. Now she’s set to play legendary singer Peggy Lee, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This would be the third time Williams has paired with Haynes, having previously starred in I’m Not There and Wonderstruck .
Marc Platt, Reese Witherspoon, Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon will produce the project via their production company Killer Films (responsible for Oscar-nominated gems Boys Don’t Cry, Far From Heaven, Carol and Still Alice).
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Doug Wright will pen the new script. The film was first put on hold when Nora Ephron, who wrote the original script, passed away in 2012. The film was eventually shelved as Fox 2000, originally slated to produce, shut down following Fox’s merger with Disney in 2019. Talks started back up again when Williams expressed interest in playing Lee, according to Deadline.
Lee, who died in 2002, is widely regarded as America’s first female popular music star. Her songs remained at the top of the charts throughout the 1950s and 60s. Lee’s 1958 cover of ‘Fever’ became her signature song. Her first dramatic role was as Judy Lane in The Jazz Singer, a remake of the 1927 original. She later earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting performance in Pete Kelly’s Blues, about the trials and tribulations of a Kansas City house band.
Production is yet to begin, but if this is the level of talent on board to direct, produce and star, this film looks to be a sure-fire Oscar contender. Tickets please!
Words by Camilla Patini
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