Renée Zellweger will not sing alone on the soundtrack to her upcoming Judy Garland biopic, Judy. On Wednesday (Aug. 28), Decca and Republic Records announced that Zellweger will be joined by Sam Smith and Rufus Wainwright on a pair of duets that will appear on the Judy original soundtrack album, due out on Sept. 27.
The film, based on the true story of Garland’s final run of shows in London in the winter of 1968, will feature Zellweger singing a version of Garland’s iconic tune “Get Happy” with Smith and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with Wainwright.
Both songs were newly recorded for the album, which a press release says will feature “Zellweger’s breath-taking recordings of Judy Garland’s award-winning and most popular numbers, which have become some of the most iconic songs in film and theater history.”
“When I was 17 years old I did a project on Judy Garland for my Film Studies A-Level. I was immediately immersed into the magic of Judy and her incredibly brave and triumphant story. She has remained as one of the icons of my life,” said fellow longtime Garland fan and Oscar winner Smith in a statement. “She was one of the bravest humans out there and her vulnerability and honesty in her art still gives me goose bumps like it did the first time. It was truly an honour to sing with Renée. Nobody could have played Judy as well as Renée, and it is a career highlight for me to be singing with her, and in some small way, with Judy. I hope everyone loves the film as much as I did.”
The soundtrack album, on Garland’s original label, Decca, features Zellweger’s versions of such Garland classics as “For Once in My Life,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Over the Rainbow.” Wainwright, who released the 2007 Grammy-nominated live album Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, added in the statement, “Judy Garland has been a constant force in my life. The Wizard of Oz was one of the pyramids of culture that I gazed at as a small child. It’s nice to come back and observe her again in the film and through this wonderful duet with Renee, her performance is astounding in a film that focuses on the love and the generosity that Judy always had for the world around her. It reminds me of how unique her life and art were.” Garland died at 47 in 1969.
The Rupert Goold-directed film based on the Peter Quilter play End of the Rainbow finds Garland balancing the demands of global stardom with her motherly duties, as she shuffles from set-to-set with children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joseph Luft in tow, cycling through her legendary performances in films such as The Wizard of Oz without shying away from the destructive substance abuse issues that would eventually cut her life tragically short.
The film’s trailer ends with Zellweger singing a shaky, heart string-pulling version of Garland’s signtature song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The movie also stars Rufus Sewell as third husband Luft, Michael Gambon as manager Bernard Delfont, Bella Ramsey as daughter Lorna Luft and Gemma-Leah Devereux as Liza Minnelli.
Watch the trailer below.