The high-flying trapeze duo of Lillian Leitzel and Alfredo Codona is getting the Hollywood treatment from Warner Bros. and the studio has found its Lillian in Margot Robbie. QUEEN OF THE AIR is based on the 2013 book of the same name by Dean N. Jensen, with a script adaptation from Cat Vasko.
The book covers the short life of Leitzel, a 4-foot 9-inch tall trapeze artist who gained fame by performing for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the early 20th century, as well as her tumultuous romance and marriage to Codona, another well-known circus gymnast. Leitzel was known for dislocating her shoulder with every plunge, and for having a fiery temper.
In February of 1931, she tragically fell while performing in Denmark. Codona, who was performing elsewhere in Europe, rushed to Denmark, but she died two days later. Codona fell into a despair after her death, which was part of this reason his next marriage deteriorated, and then he ended up committing suicide in 1937. He was buried in Inglewood, California next to Leitzel.
The film has no director yet, but it is being produced by Andrew Lazar, with Niija Kuykendall overseeing the project.
Robbie first gained fame with her scene-stealing role in The Wolf of Wall Street and has since gone on to be one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, with good reason, shining in each of her subsequent films such as Focus, Z for Zachariah, The Legend of Tarzan, and Suicide Squad. She will next be seen in Goodbye Christopher Robin, about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, opposite Domhnall Gleeson.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.