Get ready for “The Devil Wears Prada” — the original.
A&E IndieFilms and R.J. Cutler are bringing fashion dynamo Anna Wintour to the bigscreen in a feature-length documentary chronicling the making of Vogue’s September issue.
Cutler will direct the untitled pic, to be shot over the next eight months as Wintour, the infamously demanding editor-in-chief of Vogue, prepares the heavyweight fall fashion issue.
Project is being produced by AEIF, the cable group’s theatrical division, which was behind critically hailed docs “Jesus Camp” and “Murderball.”
Cutler, who approached Wintour two years ago to collaborate on a project, noted that A&E’s greenlight couldn’t have come at a better time.
Fashion narratives “Devil Wears Prada” and “Ugly Betty” are hotter than ever. “Devil,” a pic based on the 2003 novel widely believed to be about Wintour, grossed $124.7 million at the box office this year and Thursday landed several Golden Globe noms including for comedy pic and actress Meryl Streep.
Meanwhile, ABC’s “Betty” has become one of the fall season’s biggest hits and scored Globe noms for comedy series and star America Ferrera.
“You see fictionalized versions of Anna all over the place now,” Cutler said. “None of them, of course, are as fascinating as Anna herself.”
Cutler said the docu won’t be a straightforward profile of Wintour but rather a behind-the-scenes look at Vogue and the world of haute couture.
“She and I had discussed a number of ways to do this project,” he said. “The most compelling idea was to build it around Anna’s principal pursuit: putting together that September issue, known in the industry as the fashion bible.”
A&E exec veep-general manager Robert DeBitetto said signing up for the project was “an easy call.”
“We’re still looking for our voice at A&E IndieFilms,” the 2-year-old division devoted to producing and funding theatrical films, DeBitetto said. “There is a bigness to this idea, a national profile, that gives it a good chance of breaking through. The project is representative of the direction in which we want to take our movies.”
In success, pic will present “a very candid and very exclusive window into this iconoclast, her fame and her notoriety,” DeBitetto added.
Cutler most recently produced HBO doc “Thin” and FX series “30 Days.” His credits include “The War Room,” “A Perfect Candidate” and “American High.”
AEIF plans to have the pic completed in 2008 in time to take out on the festival circuit. Unit also has produced the films “Rock School,” “Bearing Witness,” “One Strong Arm” and “American Teen.”