Bette Midler, who came to fame performing in a gay bath house in Manhattan, has decided on her next movie role and it’s a doozy: Mae West.
The Divine Miss M will portray the legendary and sometimes scandalous movie sex symbol in an HBO film from the producer of the recent Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra.
The script for the film is being written by multi-Tony winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Torch Song Trilogy) from West’s memoir entitled Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It, according to Deadline.
The film, to be simply called Mae West, will be directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist).
It will tells the story of West’s rise to stardom from a scandalous Broadway show called Sex to becoming one of Hollywood’s top box office stars of the 1930s in such films as She Done Him Wrong, I’m No Angel and Belle of the Nineties.
West died in 1980 at the age of 87, two years after the release of her final film Sextette.
Midler, 68, is currently starring in the hit play I’ll Eat You Last at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles following a successful run on Broadway.
A two-time Oscar nominee for The Rose and For the Boys, Midler has had a mixed film career with major hits like Big Business, Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Ruthless People mixed in with such flops as Stella, Drowning Mona and Scenes from a Mall.
She was nominated for an Emmy for her last TV movie, a remake of the musical Gypsy, and starred opposite Billy Crystal in last year’s box office hit Parental Guidance.