Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer is to star and produce in a new series based on the personal and professional life of Hollywood’s Vivien Leigh.
Dormer will team up with FremantleMedia and Mainstreet Pictures to create the series. Episode count has not been finalised but the vision is to break down each episode on certain milestones in Leigh’s life. These could include focusing on her long-standing marriage to Laurence Olivier, the classic films she worked on such as Gone with the Wind, to her mental health issues.
Speaking to Deadline Christian Vesper, FremantleMedia EVP and Creative Director, Global Drama said “The story of the legendary movie star will be a compelling exploration of the woman who was transcendently known for some of the most memorable screen performances of all time,”
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Mainstreet’s Sally Haynes and Laura Mackey went on to say “We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with the brilliant Natalie Dormer to play an iconic star like Vivien Leigh and to bring this extraordinary unknown story to a wider audience.”
The series will draw its inspiration from Kendra Bean’s 2013 biography, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait. The screenplay is to be written by Stewart Harcourt. As yet, the series is yet to be titled.
Leigh, also known as Lady Olivier, won two Academy Awards for Best Actress, for her iconic performances as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind in 1939 and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951. She earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, and for much of her adult life, she suffered from bipolar disorder as well as recurrent bouts of chronic tuberculosis, which was first diagnosed in the mid-1940s and ultimately claimed her life at the age of 53. Although her career had periods of inactivity, in 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Leigh as the 16th greatest female movie star of classic Hollywood cinema.