I’m so glad this project is still going ahead, it has been a while since we last heard about it so I assumed it was going to stay “in development” for some time. Should be a great role for Scarlett!
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – It has been nearly 70 years since Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire at a hospital in North Carolina. But the Jazz Age icon and wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald is suddenly all the rage in Hollywood.
Competing films fronted by Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson, respectively, are on the fast track to being first at the same time that Amazon has its own series, Z: The Beginning of Everything, with Christina Ricci playing the socialite who was once dubbed by her husband as “the first American Flapper.”
But Zelda Fitzgerald was far more than just a pearl-twirling literary muse, as she previously has been depicted, which might explain why two A-list movie stars are jockeying to tackle the oft-marginalized figure. She was an accomplished author in her own right who competed with her domineering husband before her life descended into madness (she was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized).
The Lawrence project, titled Zelda, boasts some impressive names including Ron Howard, who is developing it with an eye to direct. Howard won best picture and director Oscars for A Beautiful Mind, which also centered on a historical figure (John Nash) with schizophrenia. Allison Shearmur, the former Lionsgate executive behind Lawrence’s The Hunger Games, is producing, while Cross Creek Pictures (Hacksaw Ridge) is in negotiations to finance. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the screenplay, which is loosely based on Nancy Milford’s best-selling biography of the same name.
The Johansson project is titled The Beautiful and the Damned, a play on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Beautiful and Damned, which was a thinly veiled chronicle of his own marriage.
Millennium Films, which is financing, has an ace up its own sleeve given that it has secured the cooperation of the Fitzgerald estate and will incorporate newly unearthed transcripts from a sanatorium in which Zelda Fitzgerald was confined that indicate her husband misappropriated his wife’s ideas as his own. Hanna Weg (Septembers of Shiraz) wrote the screenplay, and Millennium is currently circling a handful of directors for the gig.
Millennium president Mark Gill said Zelda Fitzgerald remains an enduring and compelling figure because she represents so many different personas.
“It was the height of the Jazz Age, so you have all of that glamor and sophistication and living large. But you also have the massive drama of fly high, crash hard,” he said. “She was massively ahead of her time, and she took a beating for it. He stole her ideas and put them in his books. The marriage was a co-dependency from hell with a Jazz Age soundtrack.”
Whether its Johansson or Lawrence who makes it into production first, neither would be the first to portray Zelda Fitzgerald on the big screen.
Most recently, Vanessa Kirby played her in a small role in the Colin Firth starrer Genius, as did Alison Pill in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. On the small screen, everyone from Blythe Danner to Natasha Richardson has tackled the literary heroine. But given the level of talent attached to the two latest films, the new Zelda Fitzgerald incarnation will likely offer a far more multilayered portrayal than ever before.
ICYMI, it was reported earlier this week that Scarlett and her husband were opening a popcorn shop in Paris. The store had its grand opening earlier today and the happy couple were present to welcome customers to their business venture. Scarlett looks radiant and so excited, which is great to see. I hope this is a huge success for them both. The first batch of images from the opening have been added to the gallery-be sure to take a look.
Public Appearances > Appearances in 2016 > Grand Opening of Yummy Pop in Paris
I’ve added new photos of Scarlett in attendance at last night’s Power of Women Luncheon hosted by Variety. Over 100 gorgeous images are now available to view in the gallery.
Public Appearances > Appearances in 2016 > Variety’s Power of Women Luncheon
What a cover shot, right? Scarlett looks incredible for Variety magazine’s Power of Women issue which features multiple cover stars–including Helen Mirren, Miley Cyrus, Laverne Cox and Ava Duvernay. Scarlett’s interview is available to read below, and outtakes from the shoot have also been uploaded.
VARIETY – Planned Parenthood has come under attack during the presidential election, as pro-life Republicans attempt to cut funding for the organization that provides abortions and an array of other medical services for women.
“It’s pretty terrifying,” says Scarlett Johansson. “Somehow, a woman’s right to choose has become a subject that’s on the Republican platform. I don’t really know what it has to do with politics at all. It seems to be a deeply personal issue.”
Growing up in New York, the actress relied on Planned Parenthood for regular checkups, she says.
“I used them to screen me for STDs or take care of my reproductive health, as did all my girlfriends. When I was asked to represent their initiative, it was a no-brainer.”
Planned Parenthood turns 100 this year, with 650 health centers across the U.S. that see 2.5 million patients a year for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing, and breast exams.
Johansson is a major advocate of such services. In 2012, she made Planned Parenthood and women’s health central themes of her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two years later, she helped design T-shirts to boost voting in the midterm elections, and she has recorded an audio message that encourages listeners to enroll in less-expensive insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act.
Her high-profile efforts on behalf of the nonprofit don’t stop there, according to Caren Spruch, Planned Parenthood’s director of arts and entertainment engagement.
“She even filmed a video about the impact that Congressional assaults would have on millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood when she was on location shooting a film,” Spruch says.
Johansson is enhancing her efforts by publicly backing Hillary Clinton, who has vowed to support Planned Parenthood if elected president.
“Hillary is the right candidate for right now,” Johansson says. “I think she’s got a lot of integrity. She’s got a lot of stamina. She’s a very clever politician, and that’s actually important to me. Maybe it’s because I have a daughter now.”