Bette Midler has joined the HBO Films biopic of Mae West. She will both play the provocative Hollywood star as well as executive produce the project currently in development, a cable channel representative told TheWrap.
Midler joins “Excorcist” director William Friedkin, who will direct and executive produce; Harvey Fierstein, who’s writing the script; and executive producer Jerry Weintraub (“Behind the Candelabra”).
The movie will be based on West’s autobiography, “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It.” First written in the 1950s and then updated in the 70s, West’s book discusses her rise to fame as the highest paid actress in 1930s Hollywood, how she saved Paramount from bankruptcy, fought obscenity charges and her take on why the roles dried up.
In similar fashion to West, Midler has pushed the boundaries over her career. Well known for her riotous and high energy stage show, Midler earned the nickname the Divine Miss M.
She is also well known for the critically acclaimed tearjerker opposite Barbara Hershey, “Beaches.” Her other well known movies include “The Rose,” “The First Wives Club” and “Hocus Pocus.”
Midler is currently in the middle of a three-week engagement at the Geffen Playhouse of “I’ll Eat You Last.” She plays Hollywood agent Sue Mengers in the play written by John Logan and directed by Joe Mantello.