As Emmanuel already noted in a February post… another project based on the life of Nigerian-Brit Dame Shirley Bassey is in the works – this one with director Marc Evans helming it.
The project is still very much alive, and, in fact, has been given a nice rep boost, thanks to it being selected as one of 25 feature narrative projects in IFP’s 2012 Project Forum Transatlantic Partners’ Projects section.
AND, it was also selected for the 15th edition of Strategic Partners, an international summit where projects are paired up with producers, taking place during the Atlantic Film Festival from Sept 13-16 in Halifax, Canada.
Still no word on casting, although, as you might recall, director Evans indicated that he didn’t have an actress already in mind for the role, and will likely cast an unknown.
As for whether this will be a traditional birth-to-death biopic, Evans corrects that assumption, stating:
This is not a biopic charting a hugely successful career. It’s a film about a young girl from Tiger Bay, the vibrant dockside neighbourhood of Cardiff, who did not yet know that she would become Shirley Bassey the superstar. The film explores a disappeared world of pubs and clubs and an enduring dream that gripped a generation but allowed only a very few to live in reality. The story is told in a way that the young Shirley might have recognised or imagined it would be told. This is a film about yearning.
So that obviously helps narrow down casting options. He might be looking for a teenager, or an actress in her early 20s – likely an unknown.
You will also remember that the BBC honored Bassey in 2011 with an hour-long program titled Shirley, starring Ruth Negga, as part of BBC2’s Mixed Race Season programming, that focused on Bassey’s early life as an entertainer.
Marc Evans’ project is building up a nice rep for itself, with these kinds of internationally respected recognitions. It’s obviously a project that has out attention (if it didn’t already before), and that we’ll be following from here on.
By the way, the film is tentatively titled Miss Shirley Bassey.