Sunday, 21 September 2014

Todd Haynes directing Peggy Lee biopic

For several years now – at least since 2010, in fact – Reese Witherspoon (This Means War) has harboured a desire to portray iconic singer Peggy Lee. Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia) was attached at one point to write and direct the biopic, but her death stymied the project. Now the film has a new director aboard, with Far From Heaven's (2002) Todd Haynes set to call the shots.

Peggy Lee might not be quite as well known as, say, June Carter, who Witherspoon played to Oscar winning effect in Walk The Line (2005), but she had quite a career, and had her most enduring hit with the classic Fever.

She got her start working with Benny Goodman's band before recording albums and film soundtracks. She then stepped in front of the camera for movies including The Jazz Singer (1953) and Pete Kelly's Blues (1955). She also provided songs and her vocal talents to Walt Disney's Lady & The Tramp (1955), though controversially she had to sue to win video sales royalties a few years down the line.

Quills (2000) writer Doug Wright has re-written the script following Ephron's passing, and with Haynes attached things should finally start moving ahead. First, however, Haynes must finish editing his latest drama, Carol, which stars Rooney Mara (Side Effects) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), and Witherspoon will have to launch her drama Wild and presumably help to promote Inherent Vice.

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