The upcoming biopic, titled simply Judy, chronicles the final months of Garland’s life, well after her roles as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis (though the film will, of course, feature some of her most iconic songs such as “Over the Rainbow” and “Get Happy”).
Judy, set in London and filmed on location, will focus on Garland’s final year, starting in December 1968, when Garland had a residency of concerts at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub. For five weeks, she sold out her run at the club, in a final attempt at a career comeback. The following June, when she was just 47 years old, the iconic singer and actress died from a barbiturate overdose after a long battle with alcohol and drugs. This period of Garland’s life has been chronicled before in a stage musical called End of the Rainbow, which was nominated for three Tony Awards in 2012.
The first official photo from the film shows that Zellweger not only bears a striking resemblance to Garland but also will possibly sing in Judy—just as she lent her vocals to the 2002 musical Chicago, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in 2003. The film will also feature Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans, Garland’s fifth and final husband; Bella Ramsey as her daughter Lorna Luft; and Gemma-Leah Devereux as her daughter Liza Minelli, as the story follows the family and management drama leading up to Garland’s final days.
The Judy biopic comes just at the right time, as Classic Hollywood and Judy Garland are both already on the brain—later this year Lady Gaga will take on Judy Garland’s role in the remake of the 1954 classic A Star Is Born.