Among other sources, Broadway World is reporting this morning that Meryl is in negotiations to portray America opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins in a new film. For those of you unfamiliar with Jenkins, you may be thinking, "another opera singer portrayal?" But Jenkins was no ordinary performer. In fact, she totally sucked, was unable to sing well, and it was never clear whether her "fans" attended her performances because they enjoyed her, or just to get a good laugh. Have a listen as she butchers the Queen of the Night's second aria from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte:
Yikes. Hope you enjoyed the gratuitous cat pics as well(?). So as you can see, this role would potentially call for a different kind of portrayal than Maria Callas for example. It would be interesting to see Meryl negotiate a portrayal of someone who is possibly in denial of her ability, or someone who knows her limits and doesn't care. Sort of an early 20th century staging of what it would be like if a really bad American Idol audition resulted in someone selling out concert venues.
Director Stephen Frears is evidently attached to helm this pic. Recently he led both Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Judi Dench (Philomena) to Oscar nominations (win for Mirren) in their respective biopics. Hugh Grant is said to be in talks to portray Jenkins's manager.
So now we have yet another rumored project for Meryl. When I first saw this news on The Daily Mail, it reminded me of the rumors from earlier this year of Meryl playing Susan Boyle. The difference is that in today's article, they're not saying Meryl has been "approached" to consider the role, they're saying she's already in negotiations. And the fact that a well-respected director is already attached...more likely to be legit.
Let's just break down Meryl's potential filming schedule over the next year. She's currently filming Ricki and the Flash, which will be in cinemas next June. Master Class seems like a done deal, and is supposedly going to start in January with maybe a late 2015 release to HBO. I haven't heard even a peep in months about The Good House with Robert De Niro, but I REALLY hope that movie happens. Then there's The Senator's Wife, which Harvey Weinstein mentioned would be an NRA takedown film, but there's never been even a trace of confirmation on this. Now the Jenkins biopic.
So, Master Class starting in January, The Good House later summer/early fall, and the Frears film early 2016 shooting? Regardless of what happens over the next year, I continue to be thrilled by the prospects of Meryl's upcoming projects.
For anyone interested, here's how Der Hölle Rache is supposed to sound, thanks to the great Sumi Jo: