Judy Garland is an American icon, and even though she left the world too early at age 47, she is still regarded as one of the most talented actresses of her generation.
Garland, who skyrocketed to fame as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, undoubtedly had her struggles towards the end of her life. Her first suicide attempt involved making cuts to her wrists using broken glass. Garland was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for two weeks after this episode. A few years later, she attempted to take her life again, this time using a piece of glass to her neck, which Garland explained as "confusion."
"All I could see ahead was more confusion," Garland said of this suicide attempt. "I wanted to black out the future as well as the past. I wanted to hurt myself and everyone who had hurt me."
Garland lost her life in June of 1969 after an accidental overdose of barbituates, which suppress the central nervous system. In the months leading up to her death, the actress and singer was touring London performing concerts.
When it was announced that a new biopic about Garland's life would be made, everyone wondered who would play the iconic actress. Very few people have the charisma and talent that Garland did, so the choices would be limited.
However, when it was announced that Renee Zellweger would be playing the role of Garland, people were skeptical. Her last musical performance was in Chicago, which was met with mixed reviews.
Now, the first picture of the new biopic isn't quelling any concerns.
The new film, simply called Judy, began filming in February of 2018, and is being directed by Rupert Goold. It will follow Garland's concerts in London as well as her management problems and various relationships throughout the year. The main focus will be on her struggles towards the end of her life.
Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, and Michael Gambon are also starring the film, but the only person people are particularly concerned with is Zellweger. Recently, the star has had so much plastic surgery that even her co-star Hugh Grant didn't recognize her.
Now, the first image of Zellweger as Judy Garland and been released, and it's not as bad as many people were expecting.
In comparison to Judy herself, Zellweger doesn't look totally out of place.
That being said, not everyone was thrilled about the transformation, or the choice of Zellweger in general.
"I don’t dislike Renée Z. but come on, Judy Davis gave the definitive Judy Garland performance. That’s that on that," Kat Chen said on Twitter.
"I’m not sure anyone has the chops to play Judy in 1969. Especially not if the film is leading with glamour shots like this. Her 1968-69 interviews are distressing," Bob Nocek pointed out.
"The last time Renee Zellweger was in a musical (Chicago) she was barely passable....barely..so of course someone casts her as Judy Garland," Al Bernstein critiqued.
"I was skeptical about the casting of Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in a new movie, but, at least on a physical level, wow," Mark Harris said.
What do you think of this casting choice? Great idea, or just trying to boost Zellweger's star power?