Renee Zellweger becomes Judy Garland in stunning first image from biopic

Renee Zellweger has been transformed into Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland for a new biopic. The Bridget Jones’s Diary star will portray the legendary singer and actress three decades after the Wizard of Oz lit up movie screens, as Garland prepares for …

Renee Zellweger has been transformed into Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland for a new biopic.

The Bridget Jones’s Diary star will portray the legendary singer and actress three decades after the Wizard of Oz lit up movie screens, as Garland prepares for a sold-out run of shows at London’s The Talk of the Town nightclub in 1969.

The new movie, directed by Tony Award nominee Rupert Goold, will also chronicle the tragic star’s demons at the end of her life.

In the first eerie image of Zellweger as Judy, which was released online on Monday (19Mar18), the actress sports Garland’s famous brunette pixie cut and a black, off-the-shoulder floral dress as she sings into a microphone.

The film won’t be the first time Renee has showed off her singing skills – she scored an Oscar nod for her role as Roxie Hart in the 2002 movie musical Chicago, and performed with Ewan McGregor on the soundtrack for their 2003 film Down With Love. She also sang folk classic This Land is Your Land in the movie My Own Love Song.

A caption to the photo, posted on the biopic’s official Twitter account, reads: “#Judy starts principal photography in London today, starring Academy Award winner, Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland!”

The project also stars Rufus Sewell as Garland’s then-ex-husband Sidney Luft, Michael Gambon, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, and Bella Ramsey and Gemma-Leah Devereux as the singer’s daughters Lorna Luft and Liza Minnelli.

Wittrock will play Judy’s fifth husband, Mickey Deans, to whom the screen and stage star was married when she died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates in 1969, aged 47. It was Deans who found her unresponsive in the bathroom of their London home.

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Finn Wittrock and Jessie Buckley join Renee Zellweger in Judy Garland biopic

American Horror Story star Finn Wittrock and Taboo actress Jessie Buckley have been added to the Judy Garland biopic, Judy.It was announced in October that Renee Zellweger would be taking on the role of Wizard of Oz legend Judy in the forthcoming film,…

American Horror Story star Finn Wittrock and Taboo actress Jessie Buckley have been added to the Judy Garland biopic, Judy.

It was announced in October that Renee Zellweger would be taking on the role of Wizard of Oz legend Judy in the forthcoming film, with British stage director and Tony nominee Rupert Goold directing.

Finn, who’s made a name for himself in films like Unbroken and The Big Short, will play Judy’s fifth husband Mickey Deans, to whom the screen and stage star was married when she tragically passed away in 1969 at the age of 47. It was Deans that found her unresponsive in the bathroom of their London home, after Judy, a longtime pill popper, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

Jessie will take on the role of production assistant Rosalyn Wilder.

The film centres on Judy’s run of sell-out shows at London’s The Talk of the Town, now restored to its original Hippodrome name, in 1968.

“Set in winter 1968, the story takes place 30 years after Garland played the iconic role of Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz,” Deadline reports of the movie’s premise. “When she arrives in Swinging London to prepare for a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Deans. And yet Garland is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids.”

The film will feature some of Judy’s most famous songs. Renee previously showed off her own vocal talents in the big screen adaptation of hit Broadway show Chicago, which earned her her second Best Actress Oscars nod in 2003.

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