The writers behind hit TV series Feud: Bette And Joan are planning to make a biopic about Gone With The Wind actress Vivien Leigh.
Michael Zam and Jaffe Cohen are looking to follow their Emmy nominated show, which documented the bitter quarrel between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, with a movie based on Hugo Vickers’ biography of Vivien.
According to editors at Variety, the new movie will focus on Vivien’s life and her relationship with British actor Laurence Olivier, to whom she was married for 20 years from 1940.
Leigh is best known for her iconic portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, a role that won her a Best Actress Oscar in 1940.
Although she was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the 1940s and 50s, and won another Academy Award for playing Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Leigh battled mental illness and passed away aged 53 in 1967 after contracting tuberculosis.
In his own autobiography, Olivier, who divorced the star in 1960, described how Leigh’s struggles with depression had poisoned their relationship.
He wrote, “Throughout her possession by that uncannily evil monster, manic depression, with its deadly ever-tightening spirals, she retained her own individual canniness – an ability to disguise her true mental condition from almost all except me, for whom she could hardly be expected to take the trouble.”
Zam and Cohen created Feud: Bette and Joan with Ryan Murphy, with the series starring Susan Sarandon as Davis and Jessica Lange as Crawford. A second series focusing on British royals Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales‘ doomed marriage is expected to premiere next year (18).
Leigh isn’t the only star of Hollywood’s Golden Age that the writing duo are planning to honor on screen; they are also plotting a Katharine Hepburn biopic.