In 1970 the Stonewall riots had only just happened and if you were famous – or wanted to stay that way – you didn’t even hint you were anything but straight. However, Dusty Springfield didn’t care about that. In 1970 the British singer, who’d already had vast success with songs like I Only Want to Be with You and Son Of A Preacher Man, came out as bisexual, telling the London Evening Standard that, “I know that I’m as perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy.”
She is a fascinating figure, and now it looks like she’s getting a long overdue biopic, currently titled So Much Love. It doesn’t look like it will cover her whole life, instead concentrating on the period when she was recording her legendary 1968 album, Dusty In Memphis. The official synopsis (as reported by The Guardian) says, “It will follow her as she navigates her way through the politics of the recording studio and the city, and will also explore her encounter with the music of Motown, her stand against apartheid policies during her aborted South African tour and her thorny brushes with men in the music industry.”
Although that synopsis might typically make us thing the film would ignore her sexuality, the fact that it’ll be written and directed by Phyllis Nagy, who scored an Oscar-nominated for her screenplay for the decidedly queer, Carol, should mean it’ll be a better rounded portrait. Gemma Arterton has already been lined up to play Dusty.
The Their Finest and Prince Of Persia actress commented, “I have been an admirer of Dusty Springfield since I was a teenager: her effortless husky voice, the way she conveyed emotion through music, how she helped bring Motown to the UK. Dusty was ahead of her time in many ways and inspired so many future artists. She was generous, witty, mercurial, shy, extroverted and a true English eccentric. I simply cannot wait to play her.”
The film should shoot in the UK and US next year, and may be in cinemas by the end of 2019 (presumably hoping for an awards run).