Moving on from The Many Saints of Newark, Alessandro Nivola is boarding yet another period piece. Deadline reports that the star is in talks to join the cast of Fever, Todd Haynes’s biopic featuring Michelle Williams as singer-songwriter Peggy Lee. Nivola is set to star in Fever as Dave Barbour, the talented guitar player who worked with Lee and eventually became her husband before unfortunately succumbing to alcoholism.
The feature, written by Doug Wright and produced by Marc Platt, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, and Reese Witherspoon, is the second film to be produced under MGM and Killer Film’s first-look deal, after Orion Pictures’ What If? with Billy Porter was announced in late 2020. No details about what portion of Lee’s life the film will cover have been announced, though, given Nivola’s involvement as Barbour, the project is likely to cover the early years of her career, prior to her recording of “Fever” in 1958.
Best known for her cover of the Little Willie John song from which the film takes its name, Peggy Lee — born Norma Egstrom in 1920 — began her career singing with Benny Goodman’s big band in the early 1940s, before partnering with Capitol Records to record a number of hits, and going on to star in a number of films, radio programs, and television roles. With a career spanning seven decades, the singer composed two hundred and seventy songs in her lifetime, recording over a thousand master tracks and being largely considered as one of the most successful female artists of the big band era.
Fever is one of a number of upcoming projects for Nivola, who comes off the success of the Sopranos prequel to join both this film and Boston Strangler for 20th Century. He is also set to star in Spin Me Round, the Jeff Baena comedy also starring Alison Brie, as well as an untitled project from David O. Russell, alongside Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert DeNiro, and Anya Taylor Joy, among others. There is currently no release date for Fever.