Zendaya booked her first role after her historic Emmy win. She’s set to play Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector in a new biopic, Deadline reports, and Spector personally chose Zendaya to play her.
The untitled film would explore the singer’s childhood in Spanish Harlem, her experience forming the Grammy-winning group with her sister and cousin, and her tumultuous marriage to record producer Phil Spector, who signed the group. and helped create their 1963 hit “Be My Bébé.” As the Ronettes released hit songs, including “(The Best Part of) Breakin ‘Up” and “Walking in the Rain,” under Phil’s watch, Spector endured his abuse outside of the recording studio. She detailed her manipulation in her 1990 memoir, Be my baby. This book, written by Spector and Vince Waldron, will serve as the source material for the script for the film, which Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury is in talks to write.
Spector and Phil divorced in 1974, after which she fought for the rights to her music and then released Eddie Money’s hit duo in 1986, “Take Me Home Tonight”. She and the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. (Phil Spector is currently serving 19 years in life after his conviction in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.)
The project has yet to announce a director or release date. However, Zendaya will produce the film for A24 and New Regency, alongside Marc Platt (La La Land, Aladdin), Adam Siegel, Mark Itkin and Tom Shelly. Spector and Jonathan Greenfield will be the executive producers.
Zendaya’s role as Ronnie Spector will join a buzzing lineup of her future films. Then she will play in Dune with Timothée Chalamet, Malcolm and Marie with John David Washington, and Euphoria season 2 once filming is over.
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