Jennifer Lawrence may be known for her work as The Hunger Games‘s Katniss Everdeen and the X-Men‘s Mystique, but the Oscar-winning actress is making sure that she is known for much more than popular action movies. Although she does have two more adventure flicks in the pipeline (Passengers, a sci-fi romance with Chris Pratt, and Red Sparrow, a sexy-spy movie), she’s also working on two serious biopics. She’s attached to play Elizabeth Holmes (a bio-tech entrepreneur now banned from operating a lab) in the upcoming Bad Blood, to be directed by Adam McKay. She’s also set to star in It’s What I Do, the story of wartime photographer Lynsey Addario, who was one of the journalists held hostage by the Libyan Army in 2011.
Now, it has been reported that Lawrence is lined up to star in yet another biopic, her fourth overall if you include the other two she has lined up, as well as her role in last year’s Joy. This biopic is set further back in history, with Lawrence set to take on one of the most famous women of the 1920s.
THR is reporting that Lawrence will be playing the title role in an upcoming drama about the first flapper, Zelda Fitzgerald. The project, currently titled Zelda, is being developed by Ron Howard (Inferno, A Beautiful Mind), with Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games, Cinderella) and Brian Oliver (Black Swan, Hacksaw Ridge) producing. Lawrence will also be producing as well as starring in the biopic. The film centers on Zelda’s life as the wife and muse of .F Scott Fitzgerald, as well as her own work as a novelist and her struggles with mental illness. Zelda is based on a screenplay by Emma Frost (The White Queen), which is in turn based on Nancy Milford’s biography of the same name.
This isn’t the first time that Lawrence will be tackling mental health issues for a role. In 2012, she played a woman struggling with depression and poor impulse control in Silver Linings Playbook – a role that earned her an Oscar for Best Actress In A Leading Role. She also played the unstable Rosalyn Rosenfeld in 2013’s American Hustle. On top of her experience with playing strong and complicated women, Lawrence has also worked with Shearmur in the past, on the Hunger Games franchise.
It looks like Zelda is shaping up to be an incredible film, and casting a fan-favorite like Lawrence in the title role is sure to pull in big box-office crowds. Her talent and obvious passion for playing women with both inspiring and difficult lives is sure to shine through in this role, and we can’t wait to see her in full 1920s regalia to top it off. Howard is known for his incredible dramas, and Shearmur has more than proven herself with female-fronted movies with her work on the Hunger Games, Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With this much talent and experience behind the camera, Zelda is definitely going to be one to watch.
That said, Zelda will also be facing some challenges. Finding the balance between historical accuracy and presenting a truly strong female character isn’t always easy. In much the same way that Zelda often struggled to distance her own art from that of her husband’s, it will be interesting to see how the creative team promotes Zelda without relying on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s name. The subject of mental illness (especially schizophrenia) is also a delicate one that will have to be handled with care and sensitivity. We’ll be interested to see how these elements are handled, and sure that this incredible team will do Zelda Fitzgerald justice.
At time of writing, Zelda does not have a release date. We’ll keep you updated as this changes.