Lifetime paints bio of O’Keeffe
Joan Allen, Jeremy Irons to play the artist and her lover
By Kimberly Nordyke
Nov 6, 2008
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons are set to star in a Lifetime biopic about the late American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, with Bob Balaban on board to direct.
Allen also will take on executive producer duties for the first time, serving in the role alongside City Entertainment’s Joshua D. Maurer (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”) and Alixandre Witlin (“Dodson’s Journey”).
“Georgia O’Keeffe,” from Sony Pictures TV, is something of a passion project for the three exec producers, who conceived and have been developing the movie as a team for four years; at one point, it was in development at HBO.
“Georgia” will follow the turbulent 20-year love affair between the celebrated artist (Allen) and photographer Alfred Steiglitz (Irons). The movie, set to premiere in third-quarter 2009, was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer (“Gia”). Tony Mark (“And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself”) is producing.
“Georgia” is the latest example of how Lifetime has been trying to boost the caliber of talent working on its original movies, greenlighting fewer movies but maintaining the same overall budget. More recent efforts include “Coco Chanel,” a biopic starring Shirley MacLaine, and “Living Proof,” exec produced by Renee Zellweger, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and starring Harry Connick Jr.
“We can provide a place for filmmakers to make these films about strong, iconic women who have made a mark on pop culture or historical culture that strictly have been seen on HBO,” Lifetime senior vp original movies Tanya Lopez said. “We will try to do such a movie once a year.”
Helen Verno, executive vp movies and miniseries at SPT, called O’Keeffe “the iconic role model for unique, talented, brilliant and liberated women of all ages.”
“The project is sure to speak to viewers who are inspired by her love affair with Alfred Steiglitz and the extraordinary work they created during the many years of their relationship,” she said.
In addition to “O’Keeffe,” Allen and Irons also are set to star on Broadway in the play “Impressionism,” starting in March.
ICM-repped Allen’s recent credits include the “Bourne” trilogy. CAA-repped Irons is on the big screen in “Appaloosa.” Balaban, repped by Gersh, directed “Bernard and Doris” for HBO Films. Cristofer is repped by ICM.
Academy Award(R) Nominee Joan Allen and Academy Award(R) Winner Jeremy Irons to Headline Cast of Lifetime Original Movie, Georgia O’Keeffe
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 6, 2008
Academy Award(R) Nominee Bob Balaban (‘Gosford Park’) Will Helm Script By Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Cristofer
Golden Globe(R) and Emmy(R) Nominee Joshua D. Maurer (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” “Hoax”), Alixandre Witlin (“Dodson’s Journey”) and Joan Allen Executive Produce Biopic for Sony Pictures Television
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Following the success of the Shirley MacLaine starrer “Coco Chanel,” Lifetime Television today announced the start of production of the Lifetime Original Movie Georgia O’Keeffe, starring three-time Academy Award, Golden Globe(R) and Emmy Award(R) nominee Joan Allen (“The Contender,” “The Upside of Anger”) and Academy Award(R), Golden Globe(R) and Emmy Award(R) winner Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune,” “Elizabeth I”). To be directed by Academy Award(R) nominee Bob Balaban (“Gosford Park,” “Bernard and Doris”) from a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer, the dramatic biopic chronicles the turbulent, 20-year love affair between celebrated artist Georgia O’Keeffe (Allen) and photographer Alfred Steiglitz (Irons). Allen also serves as an executive producer alongside City Entertainment’s Joshua D. Maurer (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” “Hoax”) and Alixandre Witlin (“Dodson’s Journey”). The Sony Pictures Television project will premiere on Lifetime Television during the third quarter of 2009.
“Lifetime is committed to being a destination for top creative talent, providing an environment that allows filmmakers to deliver their projects to a broad audience,” said Tanya Lopez, Lifetime Networks Senior Vice President of Original Movies. “In working with such brilliant and respected actors as Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, Lifetime reiterates its commitment to the production of first-rate motion picture projects.”
“Georgia O’Keeffe is the iconic role model for unique, talented, brilliant and liberated women of all ages,” said Helen Verno, Executive vice President of Movies and Miniseries, Sony Pictures Television. “The project is sure to speak to viewers who are inspired by her love affair with Alfred Steigliz and the extraordinary work they created during the many years of their relationship.”
Georgia O’Keeffe joins Lifetime’s roster of red carpet original movies, which include the two highest rated basic cable movies of 2008, “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” and “Coco Chanel,” and the upcoming Lifetime Original Movies, “Prayers for Bobby,” starring Golden Globe(R) winner Sigourney Weaver and “America,” starring Emmy(R) winner Rosie O’Donnell and Academy Award(R) nominee, Ruby Dee.
In “Georgia O’Keeffe,” when fiercely independent and then unknown female artist Georgia O’Keeffe (Allen) discovers famed photographer and art impresario Alfred Steiglitz (Irons) is displaying her drawings in his gallery without her permission, she confronts him and orders him to remove the collection. But Georgia finds herself taken with Alfred’s charms as he convinces her to allow him to become her benefactor and to champion her artistry. Their working relationship evolves as they fall deeply in love and Alfred eventually leaves his wife for Georgia. She soon becomes a rising star who is poised to eclipse Alfred’s light. As their relationship suffers, Alfred finds twisted ways to emotionally wound her, including taking a younger lover. Georgia’s search for solace moves her west, where she finds new inspiration for her paintings — and ultimately her own voice — in the New Mexico landscape.
Renowned film, television and stage actress Joan Allen received her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her work in 1995’s “Nixon.” She went on to earn two additional Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her role as a woman accused of practicing witchcraft in The Crucible and as a politician who becomes the object of a scandal in “The Contender.” Allen’s film credits include “The Ice Storm,” “Face/Off,” “Pleasantville,” “The Notebook,” “The Upside of Anger” and the blockbuster thrillers “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.” For television, Allen starred in the TNT miniseries “The Mists of Avalon” which earned her an Emmy Award nomination. Additional television credits include “All the Rage” and “The Room Upstairs.” On stage, Allen won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut performance in “Burn This.” She also starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Heidi Chronicles.” Allen will return to the Broadway stage in March 2009 after an absence of twenty years to star in the play “Impressionism,” opposite her “Georgia O’Keeffe” co-star Jeremy Irons.
British actor Jeremy Irons began his career on the London stage in the hit musical “Godspell” before making his big screen debut in “Njinsky.” Irons next starred in films such as “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “Moonlighting,” “Betrayal” and “Deadringers”. In 1990, he won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his work alongside Glenn Close in “Reversal of Fortune.” Irons also received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in The Mission. His recent films include “Appaloosa,” “Eragon,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “Being Julia.” One of his most famous movie roles is the voice of Scar in Disney’s animated film “The Lion King.” Irons has also found success on television with Emmy Award and Golden Globe wins for his supporting role in the miniseries “Elizabeth I.” He also received Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the television miniseries “Brideshead Revisited.”
“Georgia O’Keeffe” will be produced by Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Globe(R) and Emmy(R) nominated producer Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and Joan Allen are executive producers, and Bob Balaban will direct from Michael Cristofer’s script. Tony Mark (“And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself”) is the producer.
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN and is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE’s digital businesses in the United States, for Sony BMG and for the Tennis Channel, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
Lifetime is the leader in women’s television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.
SOURCE Lifetime Networks
O’Keeffe biopic to shoot here
New Mexico Business Weekly
A new film about the life of Georgia O’Keeffe, called simply “Georgia O’Keeffe,” will shoot in and around Santa Fe in November and December.
Joan Allen will play the artist, famous for her iconic paintings of New Mexico and the Southwest. Jeremy Irons will play O’Keeffe’s benefactor and lover, Alfred Steiglitz, who left his wife for the artist.
The biopic chronicles their turbulent 20-year affair. Bob Balaban will direct the film from a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer. Tony Mark is the producer. Allen will serve as an executive producer along with Joshua D. Maurer of City Entertainment and Alixandre Witlin. The production will hire about 200 New Mexico crew members, who will make up 98 percent of the crew. It will also hire more than 250 actors, including principal and background talent.
The production is a Sony Pictures Television project and will air on Lifetime Television in the third quarter of 2009.