EXCLUSIVE: Peggy Lee’s biopic long in development Fever, not only seems to have found a new studio to call home, but a new star to play the legendary singer. Sources say Deadline MGM is in talks to participate in Peggy Lee biopic Fever, with Oscar nominee Todd Haynes to direct and four time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams on board to star.
The film will be produced by Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon Marc Platt and Pamela Koffler & Christine Vachon through their production company Killer Films. It is understood that artist Billie Eilish, winner of multiple Grammy Awards, her management team, her mother Maggie Baird and label partner Justin Lubliner have expressed interest in Fever and are in the early stages of discussions with the filmmakers to join as executive producers for the feature film. Eilish was part of the life and career of a celebration last May and has always seen Lee as one of her inspirations for her music.
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The film had been in development at Fox 2000 since and was set to go into production with Witherspoon as Lee, but after Nora Ephron, who wrote the original project, passed away in 2012 the film was released. waiting. Witherspoon eventually quit the project and after Fox 2000 was shut down, following the purchase of Fox-Disney, the film was put on shelves. In recent months, the project has gained momentum after Williams was drawn to the idea of playing Lee and a package was put in place with MGM moving quickly to be in pole position for rights.
Best known for her cover of the song Little Willie John, Fever, To which she added her own additional lyrics, Lee was a product of the big band era, a singer, songwriter, and songwriter whose career spanned nearly seven decades. Lee died in 2002 at the age of 81 but her legacy lives on as one of the first members of Capitol Records’ “old guard” to embrace the new rock ‘n’ roll sound. She was also an accomplished actress, having won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1955 for her portrayal of a desperate and alcoholic blues singer in Pete Kelly’s blues.
Fever will be theatrically released in the United States through the distribution and marketing joint venture of MGM United Artists Releasing. The film would be the second film under the recently announced MGM / Killer Films first look contract. Billy Porter What if? via MGM’s Orion Pictures, produced by Killer Films, was announced in late 2020. Fever marks the third time that Williams and Haynes will team up after previously partnering on I am not here and Wonder.
Williams, represented by WME, is expected to team up with director Kelly Reichardt in the film To show up. The project marks the fourth collaboration with Reichardt after Wendy and Lucy, cut from Meek, and Some women. Williams was most recently seen in After marriage and also completed the filming of the Sony sequel Venom: Let there be carnage. She also recently starred in Fosse / Verdon which earned him an Emmy for his portrayal of Gwen Verdon. Haynes is represented by CAA and lawyer John Sloss.