Both Barbara Walters And Oprah Get Made-For-TV Biopics

Barbara Walters made an appearance on “The View” today, since she is fully recovered from open heart surgery two months ago. And the cat is also out of the bag that Babs is shopping her memoir, Audition, to HBO for a possible biopic. Interestingly, another one of the most powerful women on television might be getting the made-for-TV treatment, too. A producer has optioned Kitty Kelley’s Oprah: A Biography for a made-for-TV movie as well.

After the jump, what we know about these biopics and who we think should play these powerhouse ladies. Larry Thompson is the producer behind the Oprah project, which he says could also be done as a movie or a mini-series. The plan is to shoot the flick soon and have it ready to air in fall 2011 during the same week as Oprah’s final show. The movie will be based on a book that makes some pretty out-there claims about Oprah, like that she was a teenage prostitute and might be asexual because she channels all her energy into her work. “There are so few faces on the earth that are as recognizable as Oprah’s,” said Thompson when asked about casting. “Sometimes it’s easier to have a face the public doesn’t know.” True, and an established actress probably isn’t going to be willing to piss off the Big O. But still, here’s who we’d like to see in the role:

  • Jennifer Hudson would make a great Oprah. Though I guess they should make this a musical then?
  • If they want to skew a little older, Viola Davis would be amazing. She just got a Tony for her work in the play “Fences.”
  • Sherri Shepherd could bring a spark to the role. Plus, as a “View” co-host, she has experience with daytime TV.
  • Taraji P. Henson might be the top choice. A gorgeous 39-year-old, she can look young or old. See: “Benjamin Button.”

[NY Post]

Barbara Walter’s biopic will be far less controversial because, well, she wrote the book. In other words, it could be a snooze-fest since Barbara will nix anything that paints her as less than awesome. The movie will follow Barbara throughout her 50-year career, and will be either 90 minutes or two hours. So who could play Barbara?

  • Rachel Weisz has a similar square-jawed, brown-eyed look to a young Babs. Plus, she has biopic experience—she’s playing Jackie O.
  • Michelle Williams, just ’cause we adore her.
  • Anna Faris has always played comedic roles, but we bet she does serious, too. I’d be curious to hear her take on Babs’ accent.
  • Reese Witherspoon could give Babs the same perfectionist twist she gave Tracy Flick in “Election.” Not that she’d ever do a TV movie.

Will you watch these movies?

[NY Post]