This previous weekend, Flavorwire posted about how Jennifer Lawrence would be playing writer/artist Zelda Fitzgerald in a film adaptation of Zelda, Nancy Milford’s bestselling biography. That project is becoming created by Ron Howard, “with an eye to direct,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, and here we are once again, now writing that Scarlett Johansson will also be playing the 20s icon in a separate project called The Gorgeous and the Damned. (Oh, and also, it should be talked about that there’s at present an amazon series — Z: The Beginning of Every little thing — in which Christina Ricci stars as Zelda Fitzgerald, in the works for Amazon — whose pilot debuted in November of last year and whose whole very first season will air in 2017.)
THR reports that this project, financed by Millennium Films, has the advantage of access granted by the Fitzgerald estate to documents transcribed in a sanatorium where Fitzgerald was getting confined. She was in and out of sanatoriums in her adult life (and died in a fire at the Highland Hospital in Asheville, NC), and was diagnosed with schizophrenia — although as Therese Ann Fowler, author of Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (on which the Ricci series is based) emphasizes in the Telegraph:
While right now we know it to imply serious mental illness requiring delicate and frequently lifelong treatment with medicines, therapies, and at times institutionalisation, in Zelda’s time it was a catch-all label for a range of emotional issues. It was frequently applied to females who suffered depression or exhaustion brought on by not possible situations.
The transcripts recommend that F. Scott Fitzgerald took Zelda’s concepts with no accreditation — a suggestion that is been more and far more acknowledged in the previous couple of decades. Mark Gill, President of Millennium Films, mentioned in a statement:
It was the height of the Jazz Age, so you have all of that glamor and sophistication and living massive. But you also have the massive drama of fly higher, crash tough. [Zelda] was massively ahead of her time, and she took a beating for it. He stole her suggestions and put them in his books. The marriage was a co-dependency from hell with a Jazz Age soundtrack.
As described earlier, these documents aren’t the only suggestion that Fitzgerald took his wife’s tips: Zelda, as a Salon article from 2001 points out, was asked to evaluation her own husband’s novel — interestingly, the novel following which this film takes its title — The Stunning and Damned. (The novel itself is noted for its transparent fictionalized autobiographical components about their marriage.) She’d written in the overview:
It seems to me that on a single web page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly right after my marriage, and also scraps of letters which, though significantly edited, sound to me vaguely familiar. In fact, Mr. Fitzgerald — I think that is how he spells his name — seems to believe that plagiarism starts at house.
The screenplay for the film was written by Hanna Weg Millennium Films is now searching for a director.