August 2, 2021

Todd Haynes prepares a biopic of singer Peggy Lee

Michelle Williams, in a fotograma of ‘Fosse / Verdon’.

Michelle Williams will play the legendary jazz singer


Director Todd Haynes (‘Velvet Goldmine’, ‘Far From Heaven’), prepares a biopic of the legendary jazz singer
Peggy Lee, author of the famous sensual version of the song
‘Fever’ in a film titled precisely like that, and that will feature Michelle Williams (‘Manchester by the sea’, nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress) to give life to the singer.

Williams had previously played another famous Hollywood character, Marilyn Monroe in the biographical drama “My Week with Marilyn.” It will not be the first time that Williams collaborates with Haynes, as he did so in 2007 on the Bob Dylan biopic, ‘My Story Without Me’, the director’s previous portrait of a pop culture icon, and on ‘Wonderstruck : The Museum of Wonders’, 2017.

‘Fever’ is an old project that had already been in development at Fox. However, after Nora Ephron, writer of the first draft, passed away in 2012, the film was put on hold, and after Fox was acquired by Disney, the project was shelved. In recent months ‘Fever’ has been receiving new impulses when Williams expressed his desire to play Lee.

Finally, the project will cease to be in the hands of Disney, heir to Fox, to be produced by Killer Films, a production company of which actress Reese Witherspoon is a part, and by the famous American singer and songwriter who has become a mass phenomenon,
Billie Eilish, who has always viewed Lee as one of her inspirations for her music and who might also be interested in being an executive producer. In addition, her mother, actress and screenwriter Maggie Baird, and her Record Label partner, Justin Lubliner, would also go into production. And according to Deadline, MGM is in talks to participate in the film.

Really called Norma Deloris Egstrom, Peggy Lee (Jamestown, May 26, 1920 – Los Angeles, January 21, 2002) was an American singer, songwriter and actress, spanning a career that spanned six decades. Apart from her successes as a singer, Lee was also a successful actress, appearing in different films. In 1952 she worked with Danny Thomas on a version of Al Jolson’s film The Jazz Singer ‘, and in 1955 she was a dejected and drunken blues singer in’ Pete Kelly’s Blues’, for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

Lee was also known as a songwriter for hits such as the songs for the Disney movie ‘Lady and the Tramp’, for which she voiced and sang four characters in their original version. As a singer, she was nominated for 12 Grammys, winning Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit “Is That All There Is?” In 1995 he received another Grammy, this time for his entire career. He continued to perform in the 1990s, sometimes in a wheelchair, and continued to captivate audiences and critics. After years of poor health, Lee passed away from complications of diabetes and an acute myocardial infarction at the age of 81. The singer-actress published her autobiography in 2002, ‘Miss Peggy Lee: An Autobiography,’ which will inspire the film.