Paramount Planning A Movie About Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton's Love Story
When Elizabeth Taylor died earlier this year, many obituaries focused as much on her impressive acting work as her famously torrid personal life. Taylor was married eight times, but there's probably no man she's more closely associated with than Richard Burton, a fellow actor she met while co-starring in Cleopatra (both were married at the time) and whom she married twice before finally divorcing for good in the mid-70s. Though Burton died in 1984 Taylor apparently carried a torch for him for the rest of her life, to the point that The Daily Mail reports she was buried with one of his last love letters to her.
Burton and Taylor are in many ways the template for the modern celebrity power couple-- Brangelina definitely couldn't have happened without them-- and though their actual love is captured in the films they acted in together, the personal details of their story may make it through to the screen as well. According to Deadline Paramount has picked up the rights to the book Furious Love, written by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger and focusing specifically on Burton and Taylor's tumultuous love affair. They're developing it as a directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese, who is definitely on board as a producer at least. He and the other producers have the cooperation of Burton's estate, including his widow Sally Hay Burton, and are hoping to get the same from Taylor's estate.
Scorsese has a standing, obvious interest in old Hollywood-- The Aviator depicted the many parts of Howard Hughes's life that intersected with movie stars, and he's been working for years on a Frank Sinatra biopic that may or may not make its way to the top of his large pile of in-development projects. But interest in Taylor and Burton is high right now in the wake of her death, and with Scorsese still finishing up Hugo Cabret for December and committed to his Five Obstructions remake with Lars von Trier, he might want to hand it off to a filmmaker who can get the project moving more quickly. It's going to be a great story to work with, and so long as they pick someone with even a modicum of talent, Scorsese might be able to turn this into something worthwhile even just as a producer.
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