Anne Hathaway has agreed to play Judy Garland on the stage and screen; two productions both being produced by the Weinstein Company. No writer or director is attached yet.
The 26-year-old Oscar-nominee will play the iconic performer based on the biography Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. The novel, written by Gerald Clarke, includes hundreds of interviews and Garland’s own writing from an unpublished autobiography. The productions will chronicle the early years as a child actress to her battle with addiction to her accidental drug overdose in 1969.
Clarke’s previous novel Capote was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 2005.
According to the trades, the Weinstein Company isn’t sure which will come first, the play or the movie. Hathaway will likely be singing in it (since after all it is Judy Garland) and showed she could belt out the notes at this year’s Oscar telecast alongside Hugh Jackman.
They couldn’t have picked a better actress. Hathaway blew me away in Rachel Getting Married and if she’s that good in this movie she’ll be looking at another Oscar nomination at least. This is a high profile project for a talented performer.
Press release below:
NEW YORK, NY (March 23, 2009) – Academy Award® nominee Anne Hathaway is attached to star as iconic performer Judy Garland in the film and stage adaptations of Gerald Clarke’s biography “GET HAPPY: THE LIFE OF JUDY GARLAND,” for which The Weinstein Company (TWC) has optioned the film and stage rights. The announcement was made today by Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of TWC.
“GET HAPPY,” based on hundreds of interviews plus Garland’s own unfinished and unpublished autobiography, portrays the dramatic highs and lows of the cultural icon’s life– from her tumultuous early years as a child performer to her tragic last days.
“We are thrilled to have the brilliantly talented Anne Hathaway portray stage and screen legend Judy Garland. I have worked with Anne on projects in the past and have known her for many years. She will be a true class act in this challenging role,” said Harvey Weinstein. “Gerald Clarke’s biography is a fascinating and comprehensive look at Garland’s life and is particularly outstanding because of its exclusive details from her own writings. Her story is incredible subject matter for both theatre and film and we look forward to bringing it to audiences.”
“GET HAPPY: THE LIFE OF JUDY GARLAND” was first published by Delta in March 2001.
Renee Witt brought the project to TWC. Kelly Carmichael, and Ben Famiglietti will be overseeing the project on behalf of TWC. Jeff Daitch negotiated the deal on behalf of TWC. TWC optioned the rights to “GET HAPPY” from Anna Cottle and Mary Alice Kier at Cine/Lit Representation. Cottle and Kier represented Clarke in negotiations on behalf of the Helen Brann Agency.