Date: 11th August 2010
Actress Reese Witherspoon is in talks to sing again on the big screen – in a movie about legendary entertainer Peggy Lee.
The actress, who won an Oscar in 2005 for portraying June Carter in "Walk the Line," is pulling together an untitled biopic about Peggy Lee with writer-director Nora Ephron, reports Variety. Though Witherspoon is still negotiating to star, she is producing the Fox 2000 project with Marc Platt.
Witherspoon secured rights to the vocalist's life from the Lee estate and brought the project to the studio. She then approached Platt, who produced the "Legally Blonde" movies, and Ephron, who counts herself a major fan of Lee's music.
According to trade paper Variety, Witherspoon has enlisted Hollywood filmmaker Nora Ephron to write and direct the biopic, which the actress plans to produce and star.
The project will document Lee’s life until her death in 2002, including the late star’s singing and acting career.
Best known for her cover version of the Little Willie John song, Fever – to which she added her own additional lyrics – Lee was a product of the big band era, a singer, songwriter and composer whose career spanned nearly seven decades. Married four times, she died in 2002 at the age of 81.
The singer was one of the first members of Capitol Records' "old guard" to embrace the new rock and roll sound, often covering songs by the likes of the Beatles in the 1960s. She was also an accomplished actor, gaining an Oscar nomination for best actress in 1955 for her portrayal of a despairing, alcoholic blues singer in Pete Kelly's Blues.
Witherspoon has struggled to find critical acclaim since her Oscar win, appearing in duds such as Four Christmases. While Lee's life was not filled with obvious drama – four divorces and the death of her mother when she was a very young girl notwithstanding – it looks like typical awards-season-friendly material. The project will also see Witherspoon reuniting with producer Marc Platt, with whom she worked on the Legally Blonde series.
Witherspoon's last live-action role was in the 2008 comedy "Four Christmases." She returns to theaters in December with the James Brooks film "How Do You Know." Ephron last wrote and directed "Julie & Julia."
Source: Press Release