Zendaya has booked her first role after her history-making Emmy win. She’s set to play Ronettes frontwoman Ronnie Spector in a new biopic, Deadline reports, and Spector personally chose Zendaya to play her.
The untitled movie will reportedly 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 craft their 1963 hit “Be My Baby.” While the Ronettes released successful songs, including “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up” and “Walking in the Rain,” under Phil’s watch, Spector endured his abuse outside the recording studio. She detailed his manipulation in her 1990 memoir, Be My Baby. That book, written by Spector and Vince Waldron, will serve as the source material for the movie’s script, 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 later released the hit 1986 Eddie Money duet, “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 to life in prison after his 2009 conviction for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.)
The project has yet to announce a director or release date. However, Zendaya will produce the movie for A24 and New Regency, alongside Marc Platt (La La Land, Aladdin), Adam Siegel, Mark Itkin, and Tom Shelly. Spector and Jonathan Greenfield will serve as executive producers.
Zendaya’s role as Ronnie Spector will join a buzzy lineup of her future movies. Next, she’ll star in Dune with Timothée Chalamet, Malcolm & Marie with John David Washington, and Euphoria season 2 once filming is completed.
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