Lesbians have long known that crime fiction author Patricia Highsmith, who famously penned Carol, was a ‘lady killer.’
Highsmith wrote her only directly-lesbian-themed novel The Price of Salt under a pseudonym and it was later republished with her own name as Carol, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Cate Blanchett. But Highsmith’s biographers, including award-winning lesbian biographer Joan Schenkar, have long held that Highsmith’s love life was as dark and emotionally ‘murderous’ as anything the author ever wrote about.
Now, Deadline exclusively reports that Cara Delevingne (Carnival Row) and Noémie Merlant (Tar, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire) and Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies), are set to star in a genre biopic of Highsmith. Happily and fittingly, the film is being produced by Killer Films, who brought us the meticulous and lauded Carol.
According to Deadline, the film, which is reportedly titled The Murderous Miss Highsmith, will reimagine Highsmith’s life as a horror movie, focusing on the period just before she wrote her most mainstream novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley. That book, which focuses on an obsessive male relationship, was allegedly inspired by her relationships with two women in particular. The conceit of a horror movie is apt, as lesbian Highsmith fans know that she claims she wrote Carol while in a fever state from a serious illness.
Woman-helmed filming is set to start in Italy in fall, with Christine Vachon producing, Alexandra Pechman directing her first feature film, and Laura Merians Goncalves (the excellent lesbian-themed Dead Ringers cinematographer) lensing.