In 2011, Madonna directed the box-office bomb W.E., a loosely historical (not really) look at the lives of Wallis Simpson and abdicated King Edward VIII, aka the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Madonna got some of it right – the superficial stuff about Wallis’s clothes and jewelry, and she also cast the film correctly – Andrea Riseborough looks so much like Wallis, and James D’Arcy had that milky-posh look of Edward. Still, the film was not good and it’s not any kind of real history of the couple or their politics (which tended towards fascistic). I would be completely on board for a real, authentic historical drama about Wallis and Edward and their marriage and all of that. And we might get it, at some point. With Cate Blanchett as Wallis?! I could see that too.
With Meghan having moved back to Los Angeles, Hollywood is preparing to dramatise the story of another U.S. divorcee who lured her husband away from the Royal Family. Author Anna Pasternak has sold the film rights to her biography of Wallis Simpson, The American Duchess, to Tinseltown production company The Gotham Group. Cate Blanchett is to be approached about playing the Duchess of Windsor.
‘It’s rather thrilling as they made me a really generous offer,’ says Anna, the great-niece of Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak. ‘Personally, I think Damian Lewis would be wonderful as Wallis’s husband.’
The Duke of Windsor caused the 1936 abdication crisis when he gave up the throne to marry Wallis.
‘Now Meghan has moved back to Hollywood, never has it been timelier to consider the fate of the original American duchess,’ Pasternak says. ‘As both could attest, life has always been difficult for women marrying into the Royal Family.’
[From The Daily Mail]
Wallis was a million times more scandalous (and problematic) than Meghan ever was. Wallis was banging other dudes while she was “seeing” Edward, and one of her lovers was a Nazi! Maybe that was a smear on Wallis after the fact, but there is evidence that she was (pre-war) lovers with a Nazi official named Joachim von Ribbentrop in London, and that she passed along information to help the Nazis. All Meghan ever did was eat some avocados and exist as a biracial woman.
Anyway, this post is truly some vintage tea mixed with a dreamcasting situation. Plus I just like looking at Wallis’s lowkey wedding gown! I think Cate Blanchett is a good choice for Wallis (as was Andrea, frankly). I don’t really think Damian Lewis would be the best choice for Edward though? Damian is too sexy to play Edward. They need someone more *pinched* and posh. Tobias Menzies, maybe? Remember The King’s Speech, where Colin Firth brilliantly played King George VI? Firth wasn’t the first choice for that role – originally, they wanted Paul Bettany. Bettany would be a good Edward too.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.
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