Katharine Hepburn was a brilliant, award-winning actress, but also a fashion and glamour icon. The celebrated legend will be the focus of a new biopic (finally!) based on the 2007 biography Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn by William J. Mann.
IndieWire reports that out filmmaker Clare Beavan will direct the project, which is great news as Clare was the director, writer and producer of works like Martina: Farewell to a Champion, The Gay Rock & Roll Years and a film about bisexual Daphne Du Maurier.
Besides Katharine’s penchant for pants at a time when women were still preferred dresses and skirts to slacks, the actress was also known to have romantic relationships with women. William J. Mann detailed her love affair with Laura Harding in Kate, as well as her friendships with women like director Dorothy Arzner, whom was the subject of Clare Beavan’s first documentary (Dorothy Arzner: A Profile).
As Mann writes in his biography of Kate, neither Katharine or Laura subscribed to the “lesbian” identity, but they did enjoy a sexual relationship. Friends refer to them openly as lovers, and Katharine continued to enjoy romances with other women during her lifetime.
Interestingly, there is another biopic of Kate in the works that focuses on her relationship with Spencer Tracy, an actor she dated from 1941–1967, despite the fact he was married. But the producer of the Clare Beavan feature said he wants to focus on something else entirely.
“This is not the Kate Hepburn of public legend, including all those Tracy-Hepburn pictures, but rather the much more fascinating and complex private woman,” producer Richard Akel told IndieWire. “In reality, she was far more interesting and ultimately more inspiring than the myth she created.”
The biopic will feature Kate as both “the ambitious 25-year-old Connecticut native who won over Hollywood with her patrician, pants-wearing ways, and the cantankerous 80-year-old icon looking back on the sacrifices she made for her career.” Surely it will include her relationships with women, so no better time for this movie to be made than now.