The world of music has always been a central part of Todd Haynes’ filmography, from his early days with Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story to his bold reimagining of the standard music biopic with Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There. He’s now firmly back in the world with his upcoming documentary on The Velvet Underground and a revived narrative feature, which has long been in development.
Deadline reports Haynes will reteam with his Wonderstruck star Michelle Williams for the Peggy Lee biopic Fever. Previously announced in 2014 with Reese Witherspoon attached, the revived project will be backed by MGM and Witherspoon will stay on board as a producer while Billie Eilish may also be lending a hand as an executive producer. Born Norma Deloris Egstrom in 1920, Peggy Lee was a prolific American jazz and pop artist, who recorded over 1,100 masters before passing away in 2002..
“What my Peggy Lee movie will be, when it happens and how it happens, will be as close to getting to the core of what her music is about,” Haynes told Little White Lies. “My goal is always to start with what’s really unique about that artist has created within their field. I need to find a narrative and a cinematic parallel to what that is. That’s really the goal. Peggy Lee is such an extraordinary and unique figure in mid-century American history and jazz. She combines the artificial with the genuine, the hot with the cold, the minimalist with the maximalist, she’s just this amazing combination of things. The film will try and express some of that.”
Williams will also reunite with Kelly Reichardt for a new film, set to shoot this summer. Presumably after that production, she’ll segue to this one. In the meantime, listen to Peggy Lee’s hit, which the film takes its title from.