LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Reese Witherspoon is working her way through the classic American songbook.
The actress, who won an Oscar in 2005 for portraying June Carter in “Walk the Line,” is pulling together an untitled biopic about Peggy Lee with writer-director Nora Ephron, reports Variety. Though Witherspoon is still negotiating to star, she is producing the Fox 2000 project with Marc Platt.
Witherspoon secured rights to the vocalist’s life from the Lee estate and brought the project to the studio. She then approached Platt, who produced the “Legally Blonde” movies, and Ephron, who counts herself a major fan of Lee’s music.
Lee, who got her start in the 1940s singing for Benny Goodman’s band, went on to record popular jazz-influenced albums and compose for film soundtracks. She appeared in the 1953 movie “The Jazz Singer” and the 1955 musical “Pete Kelly’s Blues,” which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Her songwriting and voice-over contributions to Disney’s 1955 film “Lady and the Tramp” eventually led to a lawsuit that won her video tape royalties decades later.
Witherspoon’s last live-action role was in the 2008 comedy “Four Christmases.” She returns to theaters in December with the James Brooks film “How Do You Know.” Ephron last wrote and directed “Julie & Julia.”