Uma Thurman will play anti-gay rights
activist Anita Bryant in the upcoming biopic Anita.
According to The
Hollywood Reporter, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman will
direct the film based on a script by Chad Hodge.
Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma beauty
pageant winner, gained commercial success as a singer in the late
1950s and early 1960s. She married Bob Green, a Miami disc jockey,
in 1960 and the couple had four children.
Her name would become synonymous with
bigotry and homophobia when she led a campaign in 1977 to repeal a
Dade County, Florida ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation. She went on to lead similar campaigns
around the country.
But she paid a high price for her
activism. In 1979, the Florida Citrus Commission dropped her as
their spokeswoman. A year later, citing emotional abuse, she
divorced her husband, which led to many of the fundamentalist venues
where she often spoke to shunning her. In 2001, she and her second
husband declared bankruptcy.
In the film, Bryant is forced to
confront her past when she allows a gay screenwriter into her home.
Hodge, who first pitched the film to
HBO in 2010, told The
Back Lot that he met Bryant for three days in Oklahoma.