LOS ANGELES, CA.- Following the success of the Shirley MacLaine starrer "Coco Chanel," Lifetime Television today announced the start of production of the Lifetime Original Movie Georgia O'Keeffe, starring three-time Academy Award, Golden Globe(R) and Emmy Award(R) nominee Joan Allen ("The Contender," "The Upside of Anger") and Academy Award(R), Golden Globe(R) and Emmy Award(R) winner Jeremy Irons ("Reversal of Fortune," "Elizabeth I"). To be directed by Academy Award(R) nominee Bob Balaban ("Gosford Park," "Bernard and Doris") from a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer, the dramatic biopic chronicles the turbulent, 20-year love affair between celebrated artist Georgia O'Keeffe (Allen) and photographer Alfred Steiglitz (Irons). Allen also serves as an executive producer alongside City Entertainment's Joshua D. Maurer
("Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," "Hoax") and Alixandre Witlin ("Dodson's Journey"). The Sony Pictures Television project will premiere on Lifetime Television during the third quarter of 2009.
"Lifetime is committed to being a destination for top creative talent, providing an environment that allows filmmakers to deliver their projects to a broad audience," said Tanya Lopez, Lifetime Networks Senior Vice President of Original Movies. "In working with such brilliant and respected actors as Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, Lifetime reiterates its commitment to the production of first-rate motion picture projects."
"Georgia O'Keeffe is the iconic role model for unique, talented, brilliant and liberated women of all ages," said Helen Verno, Executive vice President of Movies and Miniseries, Sony Pictures Television. "The project is sure to speak to viewers who are inspired by her love affair with Alfred Steigliz and the extraordinary work they created during the many years of their relationship."
Georgia O'Keeffe joins Lifetime's roster of red carpet original movies, which include the two highest rated basic cable movies of 2008, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" and "Coco Chanel," and the upcoming Lifetime Original Movies, "Prayers for Bobby," starring Golden Globe(R) winner Sigourney Weaver and "America," starring Emmy(R) winner Rosie O'Donnell and Academy Award(R) nominee, Ruby Dee.
In "Georgia O'Keeffe," when fiercely independent and then unknown female artist Georgia O'Keeffe (Allen) discovers famed photographer and art impresario Alfred Steiglitz (Irons) is displaying her drawings in his gallery without her permission, she confronts him and orders him to remove the collection. But Georgia finds herself taken with Alfred's charms as he convinces her to allow him to become her benefactor and to champion her artistry. Their working relationship evolves as they fall deeply in love and Alfred eventually leaves his wife for Georgia. She soon becomes a rising star who is poised to eclipse Alfred's light. As their relationship
suffers, Alfred finds twisted ways to emotionally wound her, including taking a younger lover. Georgia's search for solace moves her west, where she finds new inspiration for her paintings -- and ultimately her own voice-- in the New Mexico landscape.
Renowned film, television and stage actress Joan Allen received her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her work in 1995's "Nixon." She went on to earn two additional Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her role as a woman accused of practicing witchcraft in The Crucible and as a politician who becomes the object of a scandal in "The Contender." Allen's film credits include "The Ice Storm," "Face/Off," "Pleasantville," "The Notebook," "The Upside of Anger" and the blockbuster thrillers "The Bourne Identity," "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum." For television, Allen starred in the TNT miniseries "The Mists of Avalon" which earned her an Emmy Award nomination. Additional television credits include "All the Rage" and "The Room Upstairs." On stage, Allen won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut performance in "Burn This." She also starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Heidi Chronicles." Allen will return to the Broadway stage in March 2009 after an absence of twenty years to star in the play "Impressionism," opposite her "Georgia O'Keeffe" co-star Jeremy Irons.
British actor Jeremy Irons began his career on the London stage in the hit musical "Godspell" before making his big screen debut in "Njinsky." Irons next starred in films such as "The French Lieutenant's Woman," "Moonlighting," "Betrayal" and "Deadringers". In 1990, he won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his work alongside Glenn Close in "Reversal of Fortune." Irons also received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in The
Mission. His recent films include "Appaloosa," "Eragon," "Kingdom of Heaven," "The Merchant of Venice" and "Being Julia." One of his most famous movie roles is the voice of Scar in Disney's animated film "The Lion King." Irons has also found success on television with Emmy Award and Golden Globe wins for his supporting role in the miniseries "Elizabeth I." He also received Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the television miniseries "Brideshead Revisited."
"Georgia O'Keeffe" will be produced by Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Globe(R) and Emmy(R) nominated producer Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and Joan Allen are executive producers, and Bob Balaban will direct from Michael Cristofer's script. Tony Mark ("And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself") is the producer.