Michelle Williams is set to play Hollywood icon Peggy Lee in an upcoming biopic in development titled Fever. The film will be directed by Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven, I’m Not There), and Doug Wright (Quills) is writing the screenplay.
MGM is in talks to back the film financially and distribute it. The film is being produced by Reese Witherspoon, and Billie Eilish, her mother Maggie Baird, and Justin Lubliner, CEO of Eilish’s label Darkroom, are also in early talks about possibly jumping on as executive producers.
According to the report, Eilish has cited Lee as an inspiration. In an interview, she said, “I used to listen to tons of old music — Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Etta James, Johnny Mathis and people like that — where all the songs had a perfect songwriting structure.”
Peggy Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in 1920, and she began her professional singing career at 16. She recorded her first number one hit, “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place,” at 22. She is best known for her version of the song “Fever,” which became a huge hit in 1958. Lee was also nominated for an Oscar in 1955 for her role in Pete Kelly’s Blues, and she also had several roles in the 1955 Disney animated feature Lady and the Tramp. She passed away in 2002.