Jennifer Lawrence has set her sights on a role as Zelda Fitzgerald, so do we start the Oscar pool now, or what? Lawrence is teaming with Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea) to bring the life of the jazz age icon to the screen in a drama, currently titled Zelda. Howard is developing with an eye to potentially direct.
Inspired by Nancy Milford’s bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-finalist biography Zelda, the screenplay comes from Emma Frost (The White Queen), which centers on the brilliant and tormented woman who was married to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda was her husband’s greatest muse, but as a talented novelist herself, she famously struggled to define herself through her own works before falling to her obsessive nature and descending into madness. Zelda was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1930 and spent the rest of her days in and out of the sanitarium, always in a creative tango with her husband, until she died in the Highland Hospital fire of 1943.
The project will reteam Lawrence with Star Wars: Rogue One and Power Rangers producer Allison Shearmur, who worked with Lawrence on her star-making turn in The Hunger Games. Brian Oliver (Black Swan, Hacksaw Ridge) will also produce alongside Lawrence and her producing partner Justine Ciarrocchi.
It’s a hell of a role for an actress of Lawrence’s caliber, and while Allison Pill may have delivered a pretty definitive performance in Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris, there’s no doubt that Zelda Fitzgerald is a historical figure deserving of more than a supporting role.
Here’s the official book synopsis for Zelda:
Zelda Sayre started out as a Southern beauty, became an international wonder, and died by fire in a madhouse. With her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, she moved in a golden aura of excitement, romance, and promise. The epitome of the Jazz Age, they rode the crest of the era to its collapse and their own.
As a result of years of exhaustive research, Nancy Milford brings alive the tormented, elusive personality of Zelda and clarifies as never before her relationship with Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda traces the inner disintegration of a gifted, despairing woman, torn by the clash between her husband’s career and her own talent.