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Renée Zellweger will play Judy Garland in Judy, based on the actress’ final concerts in London. Pathé and Calamity Films are backing the project, based on a script by Tom Edge (The Crown). Rupert Goold (King Charles III) will direct the movie, and production will start in February 2018.
Set in London in 1968, nearly 30 years after The Wizard of Oz made her an international movie star, the biopic follows Garland as she prepares for her sold-out show, The Talk of the Town (featuring classics like “Over the Rainbow” and “The Trolley Song”). Behind the scenes, Garland fights with management, feeling overworked after a lifetime spent in show business. Missing her children, she even contemplates walking away from the stage. Meanwhile, she settles into her romance with entrepreneur and musician Mickey Deans (whom she marries months later).
According to producers, the film will feature some of Garland’s most popular songs.
BAFTA winner David Livingstone will produce Judy for Calamity Films.
Pathé will distribute Judy in France, Switzerland and the U.K. and will also handle global sales.
Garland—who died of a barbiturate overdose in 1969—has been the subject of several made-for-TV movies over the years; Andrea McArdle played her in NBC’s Rainbow (1978), Tammy Blanchard and Judy Davis played her in ABC’s Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001), and Sigrid Thornton played her in Seven’s Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door (2015).
Judy marks a musical comeback of sorts for Zellweger, who received an Academy Award nomination for her leading role as Roxie Hart in 2002 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Her latest drama, Same Kind of Different as Me, debuted Oct. 20, earning $2.6 million.
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