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Renée Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new biopic

Renée Zellweger, pictured at right, is set to

Renée Zellweger, pictured at right, is set to play Judy Garland at age 47, months before the singer's death, in the drama "Judy," the film's producers announced on Oct. 23, 2017. Credit: MGM / Patrick McMullan

Renée Zellweger will star as the beloved, doomed chanteuse Judy Garland in the biographical drama “Judy.”

The European production companies Pathé and Calamity Films jointly announced Monday that Oscar-winner Zellweger, 48, will play Garland at 47, months before the singer-actress’ death, as she arrives in London in December 1968 for her legendary and tumultuous run at the nightclub The Toast of the Town. Fragile but determined, the singer “battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans,” the companies said, and continues her romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

While covering many of the same events as the 2012 Broadway musical “End of the Rainbow,” the film is an original script by Tom Edge (“The Crown”). It will be directed by Rupert Goold, a 2016 Tony Award nominee for Best Director for “King Charles III,” and a two-time winner of the British equivalent, the Olivier Award.

“Judy” is scheduled to commence shooting in February. No other casting was announced.

Zellweger, whose films include “Jerry Maguire” (1996), “Nurse Betty” (2000) and “The Whole Truth” (2016), earned Best Actress Academy Award nominations for “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001) and “Chicago” (2002), and won for Best Supporting Actress for the Civil War drama “Cold Mountain” (2003). Her independent feature “Same Kind of Different as Me,” with Greg Kinnear, opened regionally Friday. In July she joined the cast of Sarah Jessica Parker’s upcoming drama of a New York jazz vocalist facing devastating news, “Best Day of My Life.”

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