Ellen Kuras, whose credits include “Ozark” and “Catch 22,” has come on board to direct Kate Winslet as Vogue cover model turned war correspondent Lee Miller. Joining them is screenwriter Liz Hannah (“The Post,” “Long Shot”).
“Lee” follows Lee Miller as she travels to the frontlines of World War II as a photojournalist and embarks on a mission to expose the hidden truths of the Third Reich. But in the aftermath of betrayal, she comes to a reckoning about the truths of her own past.
Troy Lum and Andrew Mason of Hopscotch Features (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Water Diviner”) and Winslet will produce. Hannah will executive produce.
The screenplay is adapted from the book “The Lives of Lee Miller” by Anthony Penrose, Lee’s son. Penrose and the Miller estate have granted the production full access to The Lee Miller Archives, which include all of her photos and diaries.
Principal photography is anticipated to start in spring 2021.
Rocket Science will finance and produce, with Rocket Science International handling international sales. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group will co-represent the film’s domestic rights.
“Like Lee, we are living in a time where the truth is up for debate, a time when the promise of political influence is what defines right and wrong,” said Kuras. “Lee Miller had a passion to expose the truth, which led her to photographing the brutal realities of the Second World War that was publicly down-played and hushed up. This is a film which takes us on a journey that encounters loyalty and betrayal, but ultimately reveals the enigma that Lee was – as someone who buried her own hidden truths within.”
As well as her directing credits, which won her an Oscar nomination for the documentary feature “The Betrayal – Nerakhoon,” Kuras has more than 50 credits as a cinematographer, including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” which starred Winslet.
Winslet said: “Lee Miller was a magnificent explosion of extremes. A woman I admire tremendously and whom I am so thrilled to be playing in this film. An extreme lover, thinker, life liver, cook, Vogue cover girl, war correspondent, icon, mother. And yet history leaves her largely misunderstood.”
“So often viewed through the eyes or lens of a man, she has been portrayed as a wayward, brazen beauty, whose courageous achievements were side-lined as a result. She was a glorious, life embracing woman. But beneath the glossy surface there lurked deeper stories that she hid from the people she knew and loved. She gave the world an utterly unedited version of the atrocities of war, whilst searching for her own personal resolution.”
“I am so thrilled to be producing this, together with Troy Lum, and feel truly excited by the team we have assembled to bring this story to film, in the way Lee deserves.”
Hannah is a Golden Globe nominee and WGA award-winner for her screenplay for “The Post,” directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: best picture and actress. Hannah is also a WGA Award nominee for her work on David Fincher’s “Mindhunter.” Her other work includes “Long Shot” and Netflix’s “All the Bright Places,” the latter of which Hannah also executive produced. Most recently, Hannah wrote and executive produced the upcoming limited series “The Dropout” for Fox Searchlight and Hulu.
“Lee” was previously set up at eOne.