Variety reports that Kevin Kline will play gay composer and songwriter Cole Porter in De-Lovely, a new biopic to be directed by Irwin Winkler (Life as a House, Guilty by Suspicion). United Artists will finance the film, which begins shooting in London May 5. The script by Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York) presents Porter as a gay man (unlike the 1946 movie Night and Day) and will examine how he found musical inspiration from the woman he married. The film will feature 30 tunes from such famous Porter musicals as Kiss Me, Kate and Anything Goes. Cocks and Winkler had previously attempted to launch a film about Duke Ellington and his gay collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, but the project never came together.
"Even though he wrote such great love songs, Cole Porter was a man who searched his whole life trying to find out what love really was," said producer Rob Cowan. "He was gay but married many years to his wife, the socialite Linda Lee Porter. They had an odd arrangement, but his career started when they got married, and it ended soon after she died. Whether she was his muse or inspiration, he realized his love was for this woman who inspired his love songs, even though they didn't have a sexual relationship. It's a complex love story with no traditional resolve."