LONDON — Keira Knightley is in talks to star in biopic “Colette,” which reunites the producers behind “Carol,” Number 9 Films and Killer Films. “Still Alice’s” Wash Westmoreland is directing the film.
Bold Films will finance and co-produce the pic, with HanWay Films handling worldwide sales. The screenplay is by Westmoreland and the late Richard Glatzer, who co-wrote and co-directed “Still Alice.” Filming will start in May in Budapest.
Pam Koffler and Christine Vachon (“Carol,” “Still Alice”) produce for Killer Films and Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley (“Carol,” “Made in Dagenham”) will produce for Number 9 Films. Bold Films’ chairman Michel Litvak will produce for Bold Films. CEO for Bold Films Gary Michael Walters will executive produce.
The film tells the true story of Colette, one of France’s leading female writers. Her first marriage was to a larger-than-life character: Willy Gauthier-Villars, a celebrated Parisian wit, critic and man about town. The folklore of the union is that Willy locked his wife up to write novels for him that subsequently became huge best sellers, making him rich and famous. Eventually Colette rose out of the shadows to claim her rightful heritage.
The reality is more complex. Colette and Willy were a famous couple — pivotal figures in the salons of the turn of the century Paris — and the “collaborative” novels expressed much of the fetishism of their own marriage. Their relationship ran the gamut of love, perversity, nurture, violence, passion and ultimately betrayal; and it did so in the public eye.
“Keira is impeccably suited to step into the role of the iconic Colette in the early 1900s, who pushed the envelope in a time when women writers were shunned and bisexuality was scandalous. We are honored to bring her story to the big screen,” said Litvak.
News of the project first appeared in Variety‘s sister title Deadline.