An upcoming biopic about iconic Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn casts Rooney Mara in the lead role. The Belgium-born British actor ranks among the film industry’s greatest ever, headlining films that remain bona fide classics and winning one of five Academy Award for Best Actress nominations across her career, for the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday. As part of their 100 Years… 100 Stars list celebrating a century of Hollywood history, the American Film Institute ranked Hepburn as the third greatest female movie star ever, behind only Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis.
Mara, meanwhile, has been building an impressive film career of her own. After first gaining attention for her supporting role in The Social Network, the American actor re-teamed with director David Fincher for 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, giving a breakout performance that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She has since continued to align herself with some of the most talented filmmakers working today, including Steven Soderbergh, Spike Jonze, David Lowery, and Todd Haynes, whose Carol earned her a second Oscar nom. She currently stars in Guillermo del Toro’s neo-noir thriller Nightmare Alley as part of a stacked cast that includes the likes of Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Toni Collette.
Now, Puck is reporting (via Deadline) that Rooney will both produce and star in a movie about Hepburn’s life, with Apple successfully snagging the rights. Luca Guadagnino of Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria (2018) fame is attached to direct, while Michael Mitnick, who previously collaborated with the Italian filmmaker on a 2019 short film, is set to write the screenplay. There is currently no timetable for the movie’s release.
While a Hepburn biopic will surely be a high-priority project for Apple, which is working to build traction and prestige for its relatively young streaming service Apple TV+, it could take some time in making its way to the screen. Guadagnino will first need to finish post-production on his next film, Bones & All, a romance-horror that re-teams him with Timothée Chalamet. Principal photography wrapped back in July 2021, but a release date for the movie has yet been announced, with many expecting it to hit theaters either sometime this year or early in 2023.
While Hepburn’s fierce adoration will likely make fans protective over her image, this news should excite most prospective viewers. Not only does the pairing of Mara and Guadagnino signal the project as more than a simple awards play, but Mara’s combination of talent and physical resemblance to the Hollywood icon suggest the potential for a truly transformative inhabitation of the British star. Considering that Hepburn‘s career saw her cross paths with much of the all-time A-list, expect a lot of attention to be given to future casting announcements as the movie progresses through development.