Peggy Lee Biopic

A Peggy Lee biopic has been in the works for years, with Reese Witherspoon once being attached to play the beloved singer/actress. But the project was put on hold after its screenwriter, Nora Ephron, died in 2012, and it’s been idling ever since.

Now the film has new life, because four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams has come on board to star for director Todd Haynes (Carol), and MGM is in talks to distribute the movie, which is called Fever after Peggy Lee’s famous cover of the Little Willie John song. Witherspoon is still involved in a producing capacity; she’ll executive produce alongside Marc Platt, Pamela Koffler, and Christine Vachon.

But they’re not the only ones interested in bringing this story to the big screen: music superstar and No Time to Die theme song singer Billie Eilish has expressed interest in the movie (she cites Lee as a big inspiration for her own career), and is reportedly in early talks with the filmmakers to executive produce with her mother, Maggie Baird, and Record Label partner Justin Lubliner. Read More »

The film franchise is like the printing press of the film industry. Once it was discovered, it became a tool that removed a certain typed of creativity from much of the development process. Take a previously conceived a story (or preferably, stories) and remake it for a built in audience of fans. A minimal amount of work reaps rich rewards. And while some franchises have taken this adaptation process seriously (such as Harry Potter) others have made billions with a lower level of quality (Twilight, for example.) Either way is fine with executives, just as long as there are sequels already lined up.

So there’s always a battle in Hollywood over the next big franchise. Maybe it’s The Hunger Games for Lionsgate. Maybe it’s the Marvel superheroes for Disney. Or maybe it’s Fever, a franchise that DreamWorks has just acquired based on five books by Karen Marie Moning, which sounds like a mix of Pan’s Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings and Twilight. Read more about it after the jump. Read More »