Well, this is potentially…..interesting.
According to French site Télé2Semaines (via Collider) Europacorp TV, BBC and HBO are triple teaming on ambitious two-part biopic on the late, great German actress, singer and icon Marlene Dietrich. Moreover, according to the site, Gwyneth Paltrow is lined up to play the lead role with a mysterious star of French cinema set to play her lover, Jean Gabin.
Titled “Marlene,” the two films — set to be ninety minutes each — while chronicle the life of Dietrich. For those of you a little dusty on your classic cinema history, Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg ruled Hollywood in the early 1930s, working together on a string of films including “Morocco,” “Dishonored,” “Shanghai Express,” “Blonde Venus,” “The Scarlet Empress” and “The Devil is a Woman.” These were easily the highlights of her film career, and she more or less became the prototype for the femme fatale. And though she never again reached the heights of her work with Von Sternberg directors like Billy Wilder (“Witness For The Prosecution,” “A Foreign Affair“), Fritz Lang (“Rancho Notorious“), Orson Welles (“Touch Of Evil“) and Alfred Hitchcock (“Stage Fright“) recognized her indescribable qualities and cast her in their films.
Dietrich also had an extensive singing career, cutting several singles and albums and touring extensively. She also used her pipes in several films, most notably singing her most recognized “Falling in Love Again” in “Blue Angel” as well as “The Boys In The Back Room” in “Destry Rides Again.” Unfortunately, she would break her leg in 1975 during a performance in Australia and spend the next decade addicted to painkillers and alcohol, spending most her time bedridden in her Paris apartment before passing away.
In short, Dietrich is a legend, an onscreen presence like no other and blessed with an intoxicating voice that is distinctively her own. The scrubby clean Paltrow as the undeniably sexy, headstrong Dietrich? Not our first choice to be honest. But again, this is all pretty much speculation at this point and we’ll have to wait and see if this casting even pans out.
The project has been written by Andrew Davies (“Bridget Jones Diary,” Paul W.S. Anderson‘s “The Three Musketeers“) and will apparently film in English next year.