Renée Zellweger’s big 2019 started with a juicy role in Netflix’s guilty pleasure “What/If” and is set to continue with a starring role as Judy Garland in the upcoming biographical drama “Judy,” her first major awards vehicle in over a decade. The film marks the directorial debut of English theater director Rupert Goold and is an adaptation of Peter Quilter’s musical “End of the Rainbow.” The production played on Broadway and the West End and earned multiple Olivier and Tony Award nominations.
“Judy” focuses on the final months of Judy Garland’s life before her death in 1969. The story takes place in London as the iconic singer and actress prepares for her five-week sold-out concert run at The Talk of the Town. As she preps for the show, Garland battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Garland even embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.
Joining Zellweger in the cast are Finn Wittrock as Deans, Rufus Sewell as Garland’s third husband Sidney Luft, Michael Gambon as theater giant Bernard Delfont, and Gemma-Leah Devereux and “Game of Thrones” breakout Bella Ramsey as Garland’s daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, respectively. Rising indie darling Jessie Buckley, most recently seen in HBO’s limited series “Chernobyl”and “Wild Rose,” also appears.
The real Minnelli has already spoken out against the movie. In a damning social media post, the “Cabaret” Oscar winner addressed a rumor she met with Zellweger to help work on the project by writing, “I have never met nor spoken to Renée Zellweger. I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% fiction.”
For Zellweger, “Judy” marks the actress’ first major leading film role since 2016’s “Bridget Jones’s Baby.” IndieWire recently named Zellweger’s Netflix series “What/If” one of the best new television series of 2019, so “Judy” couldn’t arrive at a better time as the actress’ career has newfound momentum. A recent Deadline report stated “Judy” was eyeing an awards season launch at the Venice Film Festival.
Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment will release “Judy” in theaters on September 27. Check out the official trailer below.