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Rachel Weisz to Play Elizabeth Taylor in Biopic ‘A Special Relationship’

Rachel Weisz is set to star as Elizabeth Taylor in See-Saw Films’ “A Special Relationship,” exploring Taylor’s journey from actress to activist.

The story will be told through the lens of Taylor’s friendship with her assistant Roger Wall. Based on the screenplay written by Academy Award-winner Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire”), the upcoming production will be helmed by the female directing duo Bert&Bertie (“Troop Zero”).

The feature is produced by See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (“The King’s Speech”). Simon Gillis, See-Saw’s chief operating officer of film, and former Studiocanal exec Danny Perkins are executive producing along with Barbara Berkowitz and Tim Mendelson, who are trustees of the Elizabeth Taylor Estate/House of Taylor Trust.

Taylor won Oscars for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Butterfield 8” and was nominated a total of five times. Though famous for her glamorous lifestyle and multiple marriages, she also took a crusading role in the fight against AIDS, which stemmed from her hiring of Walls, a gay man who grew up in poverty in the homophobic Deep South, in the mid-1980s.

“Audiences are clearly fascinated by the private lives of iconic Hollywood stars,” Canning and Sherman said. “There is no one more iconic than Elizabeth Taylor, and Simon Beaufoy has written a role that shines a light on Elizabeth’s humor and humanity, which will be beautifully brought to life through the extraordinary talents of Rachel Weisz.”

Popular on Variety

Weisz won a best supporting actress Oscar for her turn in 2005’s “A Constant Gardener” and was nominated in the same category earlier this year for “The Favourite.”

Canning and Sherman said that “real-life best friends and creative collaborators Bert&Bertie” were the perfect directors to tell the story at the heart of “A Special Relationship,” which “is a celebration of how friendships can change people’s lives, and how Elizabeth helped change the world.”

See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, will launch sales on “A Special Relationship” at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 6 in Santa Monica.

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