Scarlett Johansson to play 'first American flapper' Zelda Fitzgerald

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is set to play the socialite, novelist and “first American flapper” Zelda Fitzgerald in romantic drama The Beautiful and the Damned.

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According to the Tracking Board, the actor will play the woman who was married to the writer F Scott Fitzgerald, in a film scripted by Hanna Weg. Born Zelda Sayre, she met the author of The Great Gatsby in 1918, with the pair marrying two years later. While he used their rocky marriage as inspiration for his work, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted to a sanatorium.

Her husband dubbed her a “flapper” for her uninhibited lifestyle, and she inspired the character of Nicole Diver in Tender is the Night. But it was his novel The Beautiful and Damned that drew more closely drew upon their marriage. Zelda even reviewed the book for the New York Tribune, writing that her husband seemed to believe that “plagiarism begins at home”.

Her novel Save Me the Waltz was also a semi-autobiographical account of their marriage with Scott reportedly insisting changes were made before it was published.

Keira Knightley had previously been attached to the project, with The Notebook’s Nick Cassavetes also rumoured to be directing at one point.

Johansson is currently providing her voice for Disney’s remake of The Jungle Book and will next be seen reprising the role of Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War. She has recently been at the centre of a “whitewashing” controversy surrounding the anime remake Ghost in the Shell, in which she takes on a role originally written as a Japanese cyborg.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Benjamin Lee, for theguardian.com on Friday 22nd April 2016 14.56 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010