We talk a lot about gay icons here on Out.com (I’m especially guilty of it), but there are few legends as legendary as Judy Garland. Between her appearance in camp classics like A Star Is Born, her schadenfreude appeal as the original messy It girl, and the enduring queer significance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Judy isn’t just part of contemporary gay canon, she almost invented it. And yet, no film has definitely captured the complicated truth of who Garland the woman, not the icon, was.
This fall, the big-screen biopic Judy will do just that. Starring Renee Zellweger as the embattled star, the film is not a comprehensive chronicle of her life but rather an intimate portrait of the sunset of it. Judy takes place during the year before Garland’s death as she struggles with the financial fallout of her career (and addictions), and follows her as she journeys to London for a series of concert performances.
The first trailer for Judy debuted on Friday, is a brief montage of scenes for the film (including flashbacks of a young Garland, played by Darci Shaw) backed by a haunting cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” recorded by Zellweger for the film.
The film also stars American Horror Story’s Finn Wittrock as Garland’s fifth husband, Micky Deans, Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey as Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft, and Rufus Sewell as Garland’s ex-husband Sidney Luft.
Speaking with People, Zellweger said that “when there’s a better understanding of what it takes for a person to continue under certain circumstances there is a level of empathy and respect that you can’t help but feel...What she had to overcome in a time when women didn’t necessarily feel that they had power over their own lives in the way that we do today. That stayed with me and I hope folks will be moved by that as well.”
Judy is in theaters September 27.