First trailer for Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland biopic released

The first full-length trailer for the Judy Garland biopic, Judy, has dropped ahead of its release in UK theatres on October 4.

The eagerly-awaited film stars Renée Zellweger in the title role. It begins in the winter of 1968, 30 years after Garland’s career-defining role in The Wizard of Oz, when the world-famous singer and gay icon was in the last months of her life. She passed away on June 22, 1969, of an accidental barbiturate overdose.

Co-starring alongside Zellweger are Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. A one-minute teaser trailer for the film was released in May.

The full-length trailer shows Garland as she prepares to perform a five-week run of her sold-out concert at The Talk of the Town nightclub in London. Garland was deep in debt at this time and reeling from recent divorces.

In the preview, Garland is seen struggling over the decision to leave her children in America in order to earn the money she needed to pay her debts. She says: “You’re saying I need to leave my children if I want to make enough money to be with my children?”

“People recognise her struggles and her vulnerability”

Judy Garland has long been considered to be a gay icon, and there is a widely-held myth that her funeral was a trigger for the Stonewall riots — although many experts disagree with this.

In a nod to Garland’s popularity in the gay community, the film’s starring actress Renée Zellweger attended Pride in London on July 6.

Zellweger took to the stage to share an impassioned message of support, saying: “Can I just take a second for appreciation and acknowledgement of the courage and the suffering and the struggle of all of those over the last 50-plus years in the fight for what we all know are fundamental human rights.”

She also gave Pride-goers an exclusive sneak-peek of the film.

Speaking to Gay Star News at the event, she said: “[Judy Garland is] iconic for a lot of people. People recognise her struggles and her vulnerability.

“Her empathy was evident. People related to her. She had so much to overcome herself, but refused to back down. She’s inspirational for anyone who feels they are misunderstood.”

Liza Minnelli said she does not ‘approve or sanction’ Judy

Garland’s daughter, Liza Minelli, has previously slammed the film in a Facebook post in June of last year.

Minnelli shared an article which claimed that she had bonded with Zellweger during filming, and that the pair had “taken a genuine liking to each other.” However, she said the article was wrong, and added: “I have never met nor spoken to Renée Zellweger.”