Renée Zellweger is about to go over the rainbow.
Pathé announced today that the Academy Award-winning actress is attached to star as Judy Garland in a new biopic titled Judy, which will chronicle Garland’s final concerts in London in 1968, just before the end of her life. Calamity Films will co-produce.
Acclaimed British stage director Rupert Goold will helm the project, and principal photography is set to begin in February. Tom Edge (The Crown) wrote the script, and David Livingstone is producing for Calamity.
The official announcement for the film describes the plot as follows: “Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform in a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. And yet Judy is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood; gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids. Will she have the strength to go on?”
The film seems poised to follow the same period of Garland’s life featured in the Tony-nominated 2012 play End of the Rainbow, which starred Tracie Bennett as the Hollywood icon.
Producers say Judy will feature many of Garland’s most beloved songs, which seems a natural fit for Zellweger, who earned an Oscar nomination showing off her musical theater chops as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Back in 2009, Anne Hathaway was attached to portray Garland in an adaptation of Gerald Clarke’s biography Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. While that film never happened, this project will apparently focus on a much more narrow period of Garland’s life. Either way, zing, zing, zing go our heartstrings at the prospect of a Garland biopic finally reaching the big screen.