For all the enthusiasts and lovers of Judy Garland, the Academy Award-nominated actress from classics such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “A Star is Born,” and “Judgment at Nuremberg,” we have the very first trailer for Rupert Goold‘s anticipated biopic “Judy.”
Starring Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger in the title role, the film tells the story of the legendary performer during the year 1968, one year before her untimely death at 47, when she arrives in London to perform a series of sold-out concerts.
Distributed by Roadside Attractions, the movie is “loosely” based on the Olivier-nominated stage play, “End of the Rainbow” by Peter Quilter. Screenwriter Tom Edge, in his big screen debut, is said by Quell to have “wanted the story to be much more true and precise,” with less “elements of fantasy” than the play. Edge’s most notable works have been on Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Lovesick.”
Goold, in his sophomore directorial effort following the 2015 film “True Story,” has some faith from some film-goers as a filmmaker, and could be set to have his breakthrough.
The film may have an uphill battle PR-wise in its future. In a Facebook post in June 2018, Oscar-winner Liza Minnelli, Garland’s eldest daughter, shared her disapproval of the film.
“I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger… I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% Fiction.”
Zellweger, who won the supporting actress Oscar for Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain” in 2003, was seen an awards magnet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nabbing multiple awards citations for films such as “Jerry Maguire,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Chicago.” Since then, the Texas-born actress has steadily worked but has remained mostly out of the public eye except for tabloid coverage in regards to her “new looks” and “multiple surgeries.” Her most notable acting absence was from 2010 to 2016, when co-starred in Courtney Hunt’s “The Whole Truth” as a mother of an accused teenager who is on trial for murdering his father. Looking to be staging a comeback of sorts, Zellweger is also set for a role in Netflix’s upcoming anthology series “What/If,” which drops on the streaming service on May 24.
“Judy” also stars Jessie Buckley (already garnering high ink for the festival hit “Wild Rose“), Finn Wittrock (with an upcoming role in “The Last Black Man in San Franciso“), Rufus Sewell (hoping to bring back some of that “Dark City” notoriety), and Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore of the “Harry Potter” franchise).
A strong production team is working behind the camera most notably composer Gabriel Yared (“Cold Mountain” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), film editor Melanie Oliver (“Les Misérables” and the TV movie “John Adams”), and costume designer Jany Temime (also of the “Harry Potter” franchise”).
Check out the trailer (above or below) along with new images and the film’s poster.
“Judy” is distributed by Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment and will release in theaters on Sept. 27.
Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-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 love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”
Acclaimed director, Rupert Goold, a 2019 Tony Award nominee, commented:
“I had always wanted to make a film that explores great performance and its cost. The most fertile ground for such exploration seemed to be at the end of a lifetime of performance. For over 40 years Judy Garland had laughed and loved and entertained no matter what life threw at her, and her public adored her for it. But she paid a price in a childhood lost to Hollywood, an emotional exhaustion and a yearning for a “normal” life beyond the rainbow. It is a powerful and moving story that I hope will inspire new audiences to discover Judy Garland’s joyous legacy.
I felt Renee was uniquely qualified to play Judy. First, because she is a great, Oscar-winning dramatic actress. Second, she is a wonderful comedienne. And third, I knew from CHICAGO that she could sing. I made it clear to Renee that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.”
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