Will Renee Zellweger win another Oscar for playing an Oscar nominee? The “Cold Mountain” star is unrecognizable as Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic “Judy.” Production on the film began Monday in London, which Pathé, BBC Films and Ingenious Media marked with a first look at Zellweger as the “Wizard of Oz” icon.
Set in 1968, the film will chronicle Garland’s final string of concerts at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub, giving a behind-the-scenes look at her tumultuous battles with management and her family, juxtaposed with her public relationship with fans. Garland, who was Oscar-nominated for “A Star Is Born” (1954) and “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961), died in London in June 1969 of a barbiturate overdose, 12 days after her 47th birthday.
#JUDY starts principal photography in London today, starring Academy Award winner, Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland!#judygarland #reneezellweger #london #thetalkofthetown #jessiebuckley #finnwittrock #michaelgambon #rupertgoold #pathe #calamityfilms #bbcfilms #ingenious pic.twitter.com/VJAnMRuzKV
— Judy (@JudyGarlandFilm) March 19, 2018
The movie will feature some of Garland’s most famous songs, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” so Zellweger, who belted her way to an Oscar nomination in “Chicago” (2002), will likely show off her singing chops again. The first image shows her onstage singing in a floral dress and short black ‘do.
Tony nominee and two-time Olivier winner Rupert Goold (“King Charles III”) will direct from a script by Tom Edge (“The Crown”). The cast includes Jessie Buckley (“War and Peace”), Finn Wittrock (“American Horror Story”) and Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter”).
Pathé will distribute Judy in the U.K., France and Switzerland and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.