Keira Knightley could soon be starring as Colette, the Nobel Prize-nominated French author whose works include Gigi and Chéri.
Knightley has entered talks to take on the lead role in a biopic to be directed by Wash Westmoreland, who earned acclaim for co-writing and co-directing 2014 drama Still Alice.
Colette was born in 1873 during the Belle Epoque. She survived WWI and II, including Paris’ period under Nazi occupation. Her Jewish husband, Maurice Goudeket, was taken by the Gestapo but was later released thanks to the wife of a German Ambassador. The event left Colette traumatised, scared that the Nazis would eventually return.
Colette’s novel Gigi, published in 1944, was made into a 1949 French film and was in 1958 adapted into a Best Picture-winning musical starring Leslie Caron in the titular role. Chéri, published in 1920, was adapted to by Stephen Frears in 2009, starring Rupert Friend and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Wesmoreland penned the screenplay for this biopic with the late Richard Glatzer, who he worked with on Still Alice. Number 9 Films and Killer Films, which previously teamed up to produce the acclaimed Todd Haynes picture Carol, are backing the film.