Whether it’s the smell of the Kodak Theatre stage that’s drawing them or the craving to do something factual, there’s no denying playing a real-life person – someone of note – can give your career a nice jumpstart. Just look at Jason Scott Lee with “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” or Jim Carrey with “Man on the…ok bad example.
Now Renee Zellweger and Angelina Jolie are getting in on the act, with individual projects.
According to Variety, Jolie is in talks to play Catherine the Great in "Love and Honor," the historical epic that Randall Wallace wrote and will direct for Disney.
Wallace has been working on the tale for years and negotiated a greenlit movie, as well as a pact for a novel with Hyperion Books, in a deal orchestrated by Disney’s Dick Cook and Nina Jacobson. As the script made the rounds, the Catherine role became one of the more coveted jobs for A-list actresses.
Wallace, who has used history to fuel drama in his scripts "Braveheart," "Pearl Harbor" and "We Were Soldiers," takes one of the most charismatic 18th-century leaders as the centerpiece for his tale about the American Revolution.
And Zellweger is eyeing the role of Janis Joplin in a film Paramount Pictures and Lakeshore are doing called “Piece of my Heart”.
The actress will also produce the film with Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.
"Renee has been obsessed with Janis for years and is totally committed to this," said Rosenberg. "We are looking to quickly bring aboard a writer-director so that this can be the picture she makes after the sequel to ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary.’ "
Lakeshore has been developing its project for seven years, flirting with Brittany Murphy and Melissa Etheridge to play Joplin, who died at the age of 27 in 1970. Numerous drafts have been written, but Rosenberg and Lucchesi indicated that getting Zellweger makes it a whole new ballgame and that the shooting script will be determined by the actress and the writer-director they hire.