Ack! Lindsay Lohan Might Be Playing Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime Movie
Brace yourselves, Bettys: Lindsay Lohan might be playing Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime biopic.
You heard me. Lindsay Lohan is in early talks to play Elizabeth Taylor in the upcoming Lifetime original movie Elizabeth & Richard: A Love Story. Did you just choke on your coffee? Me too, mostly because I’m not really sure which is the worst part about this piece of news: The idea of LiLo as Liz Taylor, or the fact that it’s for a Lifetime original movie. I have one word for it, and that word is “ack!”
Deadline first broke the news yesterday, and everyone from EW to the Hollywood Reporter confirmed it. The film will chronicle Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s turbulent romance; it will be produced by Larry Thompson, who also did something called Amish Grace, and written by Christopher Monger of Temple Grandin fame. While having the Temple Grandin scribe working on it should at least bring a tiny glimmer of hope to things, I still can’t help but think that this sounds like an incredibly depressing project. Am I alone here?
I assume Lifetime original movies have enough of an audience to ensure good ratings—otherwise why would they keep making them?—but let’s face it: They’re not known for the quality of their filmmaking. Did anyone actually watch William & Kate when it aired last year before the Royal Wedding? I did (mostly by accident and while it was being rerun, but that’s another story). They followed it up by airing the movie they made in 2007 about Princess Diana, so naturally, I ended up watching that one, too. And they’re both terrible. They boil everything down to ideas so simplistic that all the grey areas of the real-life situations vanish, reducing real people down to cardboard cutouts. The writing is blah, the direction is boring, and the acting is bad. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel good trusting Liz Taylor’s story to the channel that made The Murder of Princess Diana.
And then there’s LiLo. I don’t feel good about that, either. The thing with Lindsay Lohan is that she never quite lived up to the promise she displayed as a child. Whether that’s because she imploded too soon or because she never really had that sort of talent in her to begin with remains to be seen, but either way, she ended up being a bust. Why, then, would you want someone like her playing one of the greatest screen legends of all time? Cynic that I am, I assume it’s because she’ll draw high viewing figures—not because everyone thinks she’ll be great, but because everyone wants to see her crash and burn again. Deadline noted the following observation made by Slate in 2004, which probably says it best:
“Both [Lindsay Lohan and Elizabeth Taylor] had domineering stage mothers, little semblance of a real childhood, fame from a young age, substance abuse issues, public emotional outpourings, and copious amounts of tabloid drama. The key difference, though, is that Elizabeth Taylor had a true record of achievement before she became the most notorious movie star in America.”
Well, one thing’s for sure: For those of you who thought that Lindsay had hit rock bottom when she posed for Playboy, looks like you were wrong. Nothing is more rock bottom than starring in a Lifetime original movie. But then again, maybe we should just be happy that she’s got her head on straight enough to be working again. Or something.
Tell us: What do you think? Good news? Bad news? Hell-freezing-over, run-screaming-into-the-hills news?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.