Be My Biopic Star: Zendaya in Talks to Play Ronettes Lead Singer Ronnie Spector in Film Adaptation of Her Life

Illustration for article titled Be My Biopic Star: Zendaya in Talks to Play Ronettesi /iLead Singer Ronnie Spector in Film Adaptation of Her Life
Photo: Steven Ferdman (Getty Images)

Fresh off her historic Emmy win for her starring role in HBO’s Euphoria, Zendaya is now in talks to star as singer Ronnie Spector in an upcoming biopic about the legendary front woman of the girl group, the Ronettes.

As Deadline reports, A24 is putting together a film package that will have Zendaya in the lead role. The studio, which also produces Euphoria, recently secured Spector’s life rights as well as the rights to her memoir, Be My Baby.

Spector has also personally endorsed Zendaya to play a younger version of her, according to Deadline. The Spanish Harlem-raised singer founded the Ronettes with her older sister Estelle Bennet and cousin Nedra Talley. The trio was responsible for some of the biggest R&B hits of the ’60s, including “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You.”


Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, Spector’s personal history includes a tumultuous marriage with famed record producer Phil Spector, who was reportedly controlling and abusive. It’s unclear at this point how much of Spector’s life will feature in the biopic.

Zendaya certainly has the acting range to play Spector and is an accomplished singer herself. The 24-year-old started her career singing and acting on the Disney Channel, and released a self-titled album in 2013. She has also sung in previous roles, including for the 2017 film The Greatest Showman and on Euphoria, which featured a musical number in the season finale.

Last week, Zendaya became the youngest actress to ever win an Emmy for a lead role in a drama series. She’s also only the second Black woman to win in that category, following in the footsteps of Viola Davis, who received an Emmy for How to Get Away With Murder in 2015. Speaking to The Root after her big win, Zendaya emphasized the importance of portraying complicated Black characters, like Euphoria’s Rue.

“What’s so special about her character is that she is a full whole human being, she’s layered and she’s complicated,” Zendaya said. “We’re able to empathize with her as a character, which I think is a beautiful thing.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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Kudos, continued success to Ms. Zendaya! She is certainly deserving of accolades and it is intriguing that she continues to get involved in quality projects, stretching beyond her Disney background [which, in and of itself, is not itself something to be ashamed of, to be clear. Rated G shows/movies (‘rated D for Disney’?) are good for family viewing/kids.]

For whatever it’s worth, I think that Black Twitter will respond better to this than Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone.