First Freddie, and then Elton and now, it's all about Judy. The first trailer for the Judy Garland biopic, Judy, shows off Renee Zellweger's unbelievable transformation into the legendary movie star near the end of her life and career. Set to a performance of her most iconic song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," the clip features scenes from Garland's life and last performances, as she balances motherhood, her floundering career and her struggles with substance abuse.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the film — scheduled to arrive in theaters on September 27 — is set one year before Garland's tragic death from a drug overdose at the age of 47, as she travels to London in 1968 for a series of sold out concerts at the Talk of the Town nightclub.
In March 2018, EW reported that Judy would feature almost all of Garland's most iconic songs (and the trailer back that up by using the Wizard of Oz classic as its backdrop) and supporting performances from some of TV's most beloved actors. American Horror Story's Finn Wittrock will play a prominent role as Mickey Deans, Garland's fifth husband, who she married just three months before her death, while Game of Thrones fan favorite Bella Ramsey will play daughter Lorna Luft, who eventually embarked on a career in show business as well.
"It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown," the official summary of Judy explains, setting up the film's tension between the legendary actor's obligation to continue performing and desire to stay home with her children. "As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. ... After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood; gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids. Will she have the strength to go on?"
To prepare to step into the legendary actress and singer's shoes, Zellweger took music lessons and studied Garland's actual choreography from the Talk of the Town concerts, she told People. "It was such a joy learning about the magnificence of this person," the Oscar winner explained. "I always admired her. She was so quick and so funny. She could hit the ball back with the best of them."
Of course, learning to sing and dance just like Garland herself wasn't the only major undertaking necessary to transform Zellweger for the part; she also spent two hours a day in hair and makeup, using wigs, contact lenses and extensive makeup to make her look as much like Garland as possible. "It was an exercise in Zen for sure," Zellweger joked to People. All of that hard work and long hours paid off, as the Bridget Jones star is almost unrecognizable in the Judy trailer.
While Zellweger obviously had very large ruby red slippers to fill when she agreed to take on the role of Judy Garland, it's clear from the Judy trailer that at the very least, she has the actor's physicality down perfectly. Based on the way she's fully disappeared into her role, it's clear that once Judy hits theaters, a star will truly be reborn once more.