Renee Zellweger transformed into Judy Garland for new biopic

Undated handout photo issued by Pathe UK of Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger in character as Judy Garland in a new biopic which is based on the true story of the Hollywood icon's final concerts in London
Undated handout photo issued by Pathe UK of Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger in character as Judy Garland in a new biopic which is based on the true story of the Hollywood icon's final concerts in London

A first-look image has been revealed of Renee Zellweger in character as Judy Garland for a new biopic.

The Oscar-winning actress begins principal photography in London on Monday on Judy, based on the true story of Hollywood star Garland's final concerts in London.

Zellweger, 48, looks a world away from her usual self, with her blonde hair changed to a dark shade of brown and teased into a 1960s style in the picture, in which she appears to sing into a microphone.

The Bridget Jones's Baby and Cold Mountain actress will star alongside Harry Potter actor Sir Michael Gambon in the feature film, which is being directed by double Olivier Award-winner Rupert Goold.

War And Peace actress Jessie Buckley and American Horror Story actor Finn Wittrock will also appear.

Judy is set in 1968 and tells the story of Garland arriving in London to perform in a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town nightclub, 30 years after her rise to fame in The Wizard Of Oz.

The film shows the charismatic yet fragile star's battle with management while dealing with the struggle of spending her whole life in the spotlight and her yearning to be at home with her children.

It also focuses on her romance with musician Mickey Deans, who Garland married several months before her death in June 1969 aged 47.

Judy, a joint venture between Pathe, BBC Films and Ingenious Media, will include some of Garland's best-loved tunes, including her signature song Over The Rainbow.