A biopic about Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn is in development by independent producers, based on William J. Mann’s “Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn.”
Producers are Richard Akel and Janice Hammond of Four Stars International, and Michael Mosca of Starling Road Productions of Montreal, Canada. Mann will serve as executive producer and consultant.
The picture will be directed by British helmer Clare Beavan, whose credits include BBC’s “Daphne” about novelist Daphne Du Maurier. Producers have hired Michael Zam and Jaffe Cohen, who wrote “Best Actress” about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’ rivalry, to adapt “Kate.”
The movie will focus on Hepburn’s early years in Hollywood, exploring how she recreated herself from outsider into one of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Producers plan to surround the main story of the ambitious 25-year-old with accounts of an androgynous teen and a cantankerous 80-year-old legend trying to make peace with the personal costs demanded by her career.
“This is not the Kate Hepburn of public legend, including all those Tracy-Hepburn pictures but rather the much more fascinating and complex private woman,” Akel said. “In reality, she was far more interesting and ultimately more inspiring than the myth she created.”
Hepburn won four Academy Awards for best actress for “Morning Glory,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “The Lion in Winter” and “On Golden Pond.” She died in 2003 at the age of 96.
Akel has also been developing a Paul Robeson biopic with shooting set next year in Montreal.
Earlier this year, David Permut and Reunion Pictures announced that they were developing a movie about the 25-year love affair between Hepburn and Spencer Tracy with David Rambo writing the script.