Gwyneth Paltrow is rumored to be kicking off the New Year as “The Blue Angel”, Marlene Dietrich. She is reportedly set to portray the legendary German actress and chanteuse in a two-part TV movie produced by Luc Besson’s newly-acquired EuropaCorp TV.
The project was initiated by the BBC and HBO and is based on Marlene Dietrich, the biography written by Dietrich’s daughter and closest confidante, Maria Riva, according to French magazine Télé 2 Semaines. More details after the jump.
Adapted by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary), Marlene will recount the major turning points in Dietrich’s career, from her early days on the Berlin stage to her collaborations with director Josef Von Sternberg (The Blue Angel, 1930, was her most famous movie) and her subsequent Hollywood success.
From the 1950s until 1975, Dietrich launched a career as a cabaret artist, performing in major cities worldwide. No doubt Paltrow, who has been collecting singing roles lately, will be stretching her vocal cords in the movie as well. After appearing in Glee earlier this year and starring in Country Strong, she is also rumored to join the cast of Rock of Ages.
The name of the actor who will be playing Jean Gabin, the French actor who was also Dietrich’s lover – some say her greatest love — has not yet been revealed, but it apparently is a major French star. (Guillaume Canet, perhaps?)
It is also not clear whether the darker parts of Dietrich’s life will be detailed. While she was notoriously private about her off-screen life, it was also well-known that in her later years she was plagued with problems involving painkiller and alcohol abuse. She spent the last 11 years of her life mostly bedridden in her Parisian apartment until her death in 1992.
Her final on-camera appearance was a cameo role in Just a Gigolo (1979), directed by David Hemmings and starring David Bowie. In 1982, when Maximilian Schell was filming the Academy Award-nominated documentary Marlene, she only allowed her voice to be recorded.
In Paris, she is still referred to as “L’Ange Bleu” (The Blue Angel). Watch the trailer of the movie that made her famous: