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William Friedkin To Direct & Bette Midler To Star In 'Mae West' Biopic For HBO Films

The Playlist By Ken Guidry | The Playlist December 10, 2013 at 11:21AM

After hearing Martin Scorsese recently talk about only having a few films left in him at the age of 71, it's heartening to see that 78-year-old William Friedkin is still going strong. The director will follow up his last film, “Killer Joe,” with a biopic on the late, great Mae West.
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William Friedkin Mae West Bette Midler

After hearing Martin Scorsese recently talk about only having a few films left in him at the age of 71, it's heartening to see that 78-year-old William Friedkin is still going strong. The director will follow up his last film, “Killer Joe,” with a biopic on the late, great Mae West

Freidkin’s made a deal with HBO Films to direct and executive produce “Mae West,” with Bette Midler attached to play the title character. The film is based on the actress' own memoirs, "Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It," and centers on Mae West’s rise to Hollywood stardom, starting out in risque Broadway plays (such as the scandalous "Sex") and starring in such Hollywood films as “I’m No Angel” and “She Done Him Wrong.” She made a career out of challenging censorship and playing by her own rules and is considered to be one of the greatest female stars of all time, according to AFI. Hopefully, The Divine Miss M can do her justice. Actor/playwright Harvey Fierstein will be penning the script for “Mae West.”

In other news, director Kimberly Peirce is not exactly known for being the most prolific director on the block but her profile has been raised recently thanks to her modestly successful “Carrie” remake. It did not explode at the box office, but counting overseas dollars, it had a decent haul overall. At the very least, it was decent enough for Peirce to get a first-look deal with ABC Studios to direct and produce network and cable television projects. In her deal, she also has the opportunity to direct TV projects for the upcoming pilot season. It’s an interesting move for the director, seeing as how she only has one television credit to her name, but given the fact that she has only directed three films in the past fourteen years, this deal should turn her into a very busy woman. [Deadline]

This article is related to: William Friedkin, HBO Films, Television, TV News, Bette Midler, Kimberly Peirce, Mae West


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