Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy has written the screenplay, which chronicles Taylor’s journey from actress to activist through the lens of her friendship with her assistant Roger Wall, a gay man who grew up in poverty in the Deep South.
Beaufoy’s script was drawn from hours of interviews with those close to Taylor. Alongside being an Oscar-winning actress whose iconic roles included Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and Cleopatra, and a vibrant public figure who was married eight times to seven men, Taylor was a social activist who became one of the first major celebrities to vocally join the fight against HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.
Producers are See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech). Executive producers are See-Saw’s Simon Gillis and former Studiocanal UK chief Danny Perkins, with Barbara Berkowitz, Tim Mendelson and Quinn Tivey, trustees of the Elizabeth Taylor estate.
See-Saw’s in-house sales arm Cross City Films will launch sales on the project at AFM.
Actors to have played Elizabeth Taylor on screen before include Helena Bonham-Carter, Lindsay Lohan and Sherilyn Fenn.
Weisz, a Brit-American actress like Taylor, is coming off the back of her Oscar-nominated performance in The Favourite. She was an Oscar winner in 2005 for The Constant Gardner.
In demand writing and directing duo Bert & Bertie previously helmed Troop Zero, which closed Sundance this year and will be released by Amazon in 2020.
See-Saw, which struck a three-year first-look deal with New Regency in 2018, has projects upcoming including Francis Lee’s Ammonite, with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and Jane Campion’s The Power Of Dog with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. The company’s TV wing recently scooped three Emmys for Stephen Frears short-form series State Of The Union, and has Andrew Haigh’s The North Water with Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell in the works.