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Todd Haynes to direct Reese Witherspoon in Peggy Lee biopic

Considering she won an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk The Line, it’s unsurprising that Reese Witherspoon would want to take on the role of another famous singer. Reportedly she and Nora Ephron had long been working on a biopic about Peggy Lee, with Ephron as writer/director and Witherspoon set to star as the sultry singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spanned six decades. There’s been little news on the project since Ephron’s death in 2012, but now it seems the film may be back on track. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Witherspoon revealed that Todd Haynes will be taking over as the film’s director.

Haynes is no stranger to the musical biopic. One of his earliest directorial projects was the unauthorized Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, while he also found success with an exploration of David Bowie/British glam rock in Velvet Goldmine and the Bob Dylan retrospective I’m Not There. But Haynes is equally well-known for putting a uniquely abstract spin on the biopic genre. Superstar is told using Barbie dolls instead of real actors, Velvet Goldmine regularly features fantastical musical sequences, and I’m Not There calls upon several different people (including Cate Blanchett) to capture various elements of Dylan’s life. Witherspoon suggested Haynes will be working from Ephron’s script, so it will be interesting to see how her more grounded writing style matches with his heady directorial vision.


Haynes is currently working on a romantic drama called Carol, starring Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and it’s unclear if the Peggy Lee film will be his next project. Regardless, Lee’s big hits like “Why Don’t You Do Right?,” “Fever,” and “He’s A Tramp” will likely make for a delightful soundtrack whenever the film is released.

[via The Playlist]

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