A new movie is in the works starring Jennifer Lawrence as Zelda Fitzgerald, the novelist, painter, socialite and wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fellow Oscar winner Ron Howard has signed on to direct, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which adds that producers and financing is coming together.
Could Asheville factor into plans for research or locations? It would make sense on several fronts.
Zelda Fitzgerald spent a lot of time in Asheville. Over the course of 12 years, she was a regular patient at Highland Hospital in Asheville, in what we know today at the Montford neighborhood. Highland was known as home to a renown psychiatrist, who treated patients from around the country for mental and nervous disorders and addictions. F. Scott Fitzgerald was also familiar with Asheville – he spent two summers at Grove Park Inn battling his own demons.
Tragically, Fitzgerald and eight other women died in a fire at Highland Hospital in March 1948. Buildings that were part of Highland Hospital still stand today. (In 2015, the site on Zillicoa Street sold for $1.25 million and is now home to center for young men battling substance abuse.)
Lawrence is also familiar with Asheville, having spent a good amount of time around Western North Carolina when she was filming the first Hunger Games movie back in 2011.
Earlier this year, Asheville celebrated Zelda Fitzgerald in fine fashion, with the help of fan Jim MacKenzie, who wanted to honor her creative spirit, often lost in discussions of she and her husband. Zelda was a dancer, accomplished painter and author of a novel, Save Me the Last Waltz. Asheville City Council proclaimed a March day “Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Day.” The day included readings, music, an art auction and more.
The Thomas Wolfe film wasn’t even shot here. Slim chance that Asheville will get this either. NC has driven most film makers away (much to the delight of Georgia.)
Don’t forget to vote.
Good for Georgia! Frankly, with the hordes of beer-mongers filling our streets (and pissing all over them), I think we could do with LESS self-promotion rather than more.
The last few films shot here weren’t very noteworthy. Masterminds took forever to be released and doesn’t seem to have caught much attention. World Made Straight and Serena, which were ABOUT this area, were all but ignored.
The whole point of Thomas Wolfe’s work was his efforts to get out of (then) provincial-minded Asheville, so I found it ironic that anyone thought that Genius should have somehow extolled the city’s role in his literary life.
And Zelda came here to be locked away insane, then burned alive, so…