This Photo Of Renee Zellweger As Judy Garland Makes The Actor TOTALLY Unrecognizable
Renée Zellweger has a new role on her hands, and the upcoming movie is nothing like Bridget Jones' Diary. Zellweger will play Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, from Pathé, BBC Films, and Ingenious Media. The studio has released the first photo of Zellweger as Garland, and the Academy Award winner is completely unrecognizable while dressed as the Wizard of Oz star.
There aren't a ton of details about Judy's release date yet, though IMDb lists the movie's release date as later this year. Set in the late 1960s, the biopic will focus on Garland's series of sold-out concerts at London's Talk of the Town nightclub. The movie will focus on the final phase of Garland's life, long after the release of her movies The Wizard of Oz and Easter Parade. Finn Wittrock, Michael Gambon, Jessie Buckley, and Rufus Sewell will also co-star in the film. And, according to IMDb, Gemma-Leah Devereux and Bella Ramsey will appear in the movie as Garland's two daughters, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft. There's no actor yet listed to play Garland's son.
As stated in a post from Judy's Twitter account, the movie has started its principal photography, so fans might be seeing more photos of Zellweger as Garland in the coming weeks. In the first photo, a dark-haired Zellweger stands performing at a microphone, wearing a colorful floral dress.
By The Hollywood Reporter's account, Garland's family will play a significant role in the biopic. As the magazine puts it, the movie focuses on a star who's spent almost her entire life in the spotlight and now wonders if she wants to spend more time with her children at home. Sewell will play Sidney Luft, Garland's third husband, while Wittrock will play Mickey Deans, Garland's fifth husband.
Though she was just 47 years old when she died, Judy Garland had a storied career. After years as a child actress, Garland became a household name when she landed the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She went on to act in many more movies, including Easter Parade, Summer Stock, and A Star Is Born.
But as the concert series Judy will focus on demonstrates, Garland was as renowned for her singing as she was for her acting. Based on the photo, it looks like Zellweger could be singing in the movie, too. THR reports that The Wizard of Oz' "Over the Rainbow," as well as some of Garland's other songs, will be included in the movie. And obviously Zellweger has singing experience; she starred in Chicago, which won the Best Picture award at the Oscars in 2003. (She also sang in 2003's Down with Love, alongside Ewan McGregor.)
There's no trailer for Judy yet, but fans are already loving the photo of Zellweger in character. Entertainment journalist Jarett Wieselman has already declared the photo the beginning of a "Renéessance," and honestly, he might not even be wrong about that.
Judy isn't the first time Garland's legacy has been portrayed on screen. In 2001, ABC released the miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, which starred Judy Davis as the late Garland. Garland left an incredible legacy in the world of film and music, though, so it's not a surprise that she's being immortalized through another work.
And Zellweger has played many different roles over the years, so it's no surprise that her transformation into Judy Garland is totally unrecognizable. Hopefully, fans will get a trailer for the movie soon — if Zellweger is singing "Over The Rainbow," it would be great if the first teaser included a snippet of the famous song.