After securing the rights to Lee’s story in 2010, Witherspoon had approached Nora Ephron to write and direct the film. However, the project was stalled after Ephron’s death in 2012.
At TIFF, the Walk the Line actress confirmed that Haynes had come aboard the project. Haynes has previously made three other works about musicians: the Bob Dylan tribute I’m Not There, the unauthorized Karen Carpenter cult film Superstar, and the fictional glam-rock saga Velvet Goldmine.
Lee died in 2002. She is best remembered for the songs “Why Don’t You Do Right?” “Fever,” and “Is That All There Is?”
Witherspoon will be seen this Oscar season in Wild (December 5), The Good Lie (October 3), and Inherent Vice (January 9).