Mary Pickford is one of the most important figures in film history. The silent film star was the world’s first silver screen celebrity. She was a founding member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the United Artists film studio. She had a level of recognition and renown around the entire planet that’s gone unmatched by other cinematic figures. And her private life was rich with drama, to boot. She was plagued by alcoholism, both in other members of her family and herself. She was married to Douglas Fairbanks for a time. She was an admirable activist but terrible to her children. Pickford is an incredibly interesting character.
It’s frankly astonishing that there hasn’t been a biopic made about Pickford before now. Well, it’s finally moving forward. IndieWire reports that Jennifer DeLia will be directing the film, titled The First, from a script by Josh Fagin. Lily Rabe, best known for American Horror Story, is set to star as Pickford. The screenplay will be based on Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood, by Eileen Whitfield. It remains to be seen whether the film will attempt to cover Pickford’s entire life (AKA the standard biopic approach) or concentrate on one section of her life, and use it to demonstrate her whole character (AKA the only biopic approach that’s bearable).