Jennifer Lawrence to play Zelda Fitzgerald in new biopic

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray

It’s official; Jennifer Lawrence is set to bring Zelda Fitzgerald – the real-life inspiration behind The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan – to life on the silver screen.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the drama, currently titled Zelda, is based on a screenplay by The White Queen’s Emma Frost.

The film will follow the “first American Flapper” through her life as a troubled socialite, focusing on her passionate love affair and marriage with author F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Zelda famously inspired Fitzgerald to pen the character of Daisy, but, with her husband regularly plundering her diaries for new material, it’s understandable that she found her enforced role as his muse an unwelcome one.

Their marriage – much like Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s – quickly became marred by excessive drinking, infidelity, and mistrust; Zelda once accused her husband of embarking on an affair with author Ernest Hemingway.

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald

The upcoming movie, which will be directed by Ron Howard, is based on Nancy Milford’s novel, Zelda. It will focus on how the tragic Jazz Age beauty tried to define herself through her own creative endeavours, and seeks to explore whether love ever hope to exist between creative equals.

A talented writer herself, Zelda became her husband’s fiercest competitor, publishing a great many short stories, including Death of the Flapper.

She also, at the age of 27, attempted to revisit her childhood obsession with ballet, practicing for up to eight hours each day.

The gruelling practise caused her to become both physically and mentally exhausted, and, in April 1930, she was diagnosed as a schizophrenic by doctors in Paris.

A few years later, Zelda found herself living in a sanatorium and while she penned a semi-autobiographical novel during this time, it was not well-received by critics.

Her tumultuous marriage ended in 1940, when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack at the age of 44. Zelda tragically died just eight years later when a fire broke out at the hospital in which she was living. Locked in a room awaiting electroshock therapy, Zelda was amongst the nine women who were killed in the blaze. The novel she was working on, tentatively titled Caeser’s Things, remains unfinished.

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald

The film's release date has yet to be revealed.

Images: Rex Pictures