Barely recognizable Renée Zellweger goes over the rainbow in first 'Judy' trailer

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  • Judy Garland
    American actress and singer (1922-1969)
  • Renée Zellweger
    Renée Zellweger
    American actress and producer

Renée Zellweger bears an uncanny resemblance to Judy Garland in the first trailer for Judy, a biopic about the later years of the legendary singer's life. Set to the tune of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by Zellweger-as-Garland, the teaser includes scenes from Garland's life in the late 1960s, as well as flashbacks to her early career highlights, including the filming of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Watch it above.

Judy takes place in 1968, one year before Garland's death from a barbiturate overdose at age 47. With her health deteriorating, Garland was supporting herself with a concert tour, caring for her three children, and embarking on a romance with her future fifth husband, the much-younger nightclub manager Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock). Garland was haunted throughout her life by harrowing memories of a childhood in the spotlight; her mistreatment by the studio directly resulted in the drug addictions and eating disorder that contributed to her untimely death.

Renee Zellweger in 'Judy' (Roadside Attractions)
Renee Zellweger in 'Judy' (Roadside Attractions)

In order to transform into the show-business legend, Zellweger spent two hours a day getting makeup, prosthetics, and contact lenses applied, a process the Oscar winner described to People as "an exercise in Zen."

Renee Zellweger in 'Judy' (Roadside Attractions)
Renee Zellweger in 'Judy' (Roadside Attractions)

Director Rupert Goold said in a press statement that he cast Zellweger for her talent, sense of humor, and the musical ability she showcased in 2002's Chicago. "I made it clear to Renee that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice," said Goold, "but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.”

Judy opens in theaters on Sept. 27.

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