Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Zendaya to star in biopic about Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes

Zendaya
Zendaya
Photo: Steven Ferdman (Getty Images)

According to Deadline, Zendaya has signed on to star in an A24 biopic about Ronnie Spector from the Ronettes, the group behind historically inescapable pop song “Be My Baby” and countless other hits. Zendaya will play Spector, having apparently been Spector’s preferred choice for the role, with Variety saying that the movie will “place emphasis” on her early career and the formation of the Ronettes. That being said, it will also apparently detail her marriage and divorce from producer Phil Spector, as well as her fight to regain control of her music from him (which didn’t happen until decades later, so that “early career” thing might not be totally accurate).

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The Deadline story doesn’t mention any other potential stars, and it would be a disservice to Ronnie Spector to spend too much time talking about a man, but not many music biopics like this feature a supporting character who eventually becomes a murderer. Phil Spector didn’t kill Lana Clarkson until long after he and Ronnie Spector divorced and he wasn’t convicted until after the legal battle over the Ronettes catalog, so that really doesn’t need to be a plot point here, but “this guy later murdered a woman” is the kind of thing that will hang over the character whenever he appears onscreen.

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Anyway, the movie is based on Ronnie Spector’s autobiography, Be My Baby, and we will be utterly and completely stunned if the movie doesn’t also use that title. After Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocket Man, there’s really no need to be clever. As for Zendaya, she recently became the youngest person ever to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama, so this project has the potential to be a certified Big Deal.

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