Saturday, April 18, 2020

A quintet of new voices awaits

Things are very much on hold these days. Our jobs, our activities, the world. That certainly includes the work that takes place among filmmakers. Most, if not all, production has been shut down for film and television due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which certainly affects Meryl too. We already know that The Prom still has a good chance of reaching Netflix by the end of the year. I'm actually surprised that we don't have more news on Steven Soderbergh's HBO Max film, Let Them All Talk. I wouldn't be surprised if we get news this week that it's coming out before May, or that it's not being released until fall. Who knows.

With all this in mind, my mind wanders into the realm of possibility again. Meryl has no future projects "solidified" for production coming up over the next year. Five film roles stand out to me that would potentially be great biopic vehicles. Each of them include a lead character with a very distinct voice, which is Meryl's specialty (and something I personally love witnessing). The fun thing is, all five of the below roles actually have completed scripts, just waiting for that elusive green light. Some food for thought amidst these quiet days.

1. Maria Callas in Master Class

I start with this one because it might be the least likely to happen, knowing that it was probably only a "go" if Mike Nichols were still with us. It might be a stretch age-wise for even Meryl at this point as well. But you never know! She'd get to do a Greek-American accent.

2. Diana Nyad in Nyad

Nyad doesn't necessarily have an accent, per se, but she has a distinct speaking style, and often quotes her adoptive father, who was Greek-Egyptian. I've actually read this script, and Nyad speaks some Spanish in it as well. Knowing the Tokyo Olympics are now pushed to 2021, if this were to film at the end of this year, it would be a great film to release during all the competitive hype of The Games next summer.

3. Lilly Ledbetter in Lilly

I've posted about this in recent weeks. Meryl has backed director Rachel Feldman's script about the fair pay activist, and the film is currently listed as "in production" on IMDb. I continue to maintain that it would be super weird to me that if the role is for someone in Meryl's age demographic, that she wouldn't be the first choice to play her. She'd get to do an Alabaman accent.

4. Susan Boyle (no known title, possibly The Woman I Was Born to Be)

It's been almost seven years since rumors first swirled that Meryl was being courted to play the Scottish star made famous after her 2009 appearance on Britain's Got Talent. Those rumors were bolstered a bit more this past fall when it was revealed that the film, based on Boyle's 2010 memoir, was likely moving ahead within the next year. Boyle was quoted as saying that the woman selected to portray her was a "bit of a surprise," and that she had some say in the casting.

5. Anna Anderson in Duchess

This is likely going to be a new one for people. Anderson was an eccentric Prussian woman who fooled many people into believing she was actually the slain Romanov princes, the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia. This film has been in development hell since 2014, when it was announced that Glenn Close would be portraying the title character. It's to a be a dark comedy, during the time Anderson's husband sort of kidnaps her out of her court-ordered retirement home to take her on a honeymoon road trip through Virginia.

I doubt at this point it'll ever happen with Close, and I'm sure people will flip out if Meryl ever "stole" the role. Regardless, it'd be an interesting person to see on screen. I've read that Anderson (born
Franziska Schanzkowska) spoke with what was described by some hospital orderlies as "German with a Russian accent."


  1. Wonderful choices! I'm very excited about The Prom - LBGT content and a diva performance always pique my interest...I'll add to your list of dream projects a book that is on my TBR pile for this quarantine, called The Jetsetters; it is about a 70 year old with a dysfunctional family, going on vacation together - Reese Witherspoon recently promoted it and I would not be surprised to find out she has bought the rights...of course, she recently has worked with a 70 year old who deserves a meaty part (especially if it's to be a limited series - in my dream scenario, it is!)

    Thank you for being a bright light in uncertain times.

    1. Thanks, Darcy! Great suggestion of The Jetsetters. Witherspoon is tenacious at snatching up great stories. Hope she does with this one too!

  2. Callie interview is fascinating as is the woman herself. Would be great to see Meryl take on this complex personality.