Industry sources have named Russell Crowe, the New Zealand actor, Briton Clive Owen and Colin Farrell, the Irish star, as possible Burtons.
Mike Nichols, the Oscar winning American director, reportedly wants to make the film, which would be based on the book “Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century”.
Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, the husband and wife who wrote the book, were given unprecedented access to a series of love letters written by Burton to Taylor during the course of their two marriages.
They were also given an unpublished first draft of Taylor’s 1965 autobiography, as well as a portfolio of the screen siren’s favourite personal photographs, which are reproduced in the book.
Hollywood sources told the US TV show Entertainment Tonight that both Jolie, 35, and Zeta Jones, 40, had expressed an interest in playing Taylor.
Jolie has already been lined up to take on Taylor’s most famous role as Cleopatra.It was while making the 1963 epic that Taylor met and fell in love with Burton.She was already married and their public affair was condemned by the Vatican.
After divorcing Eddie Fisher, her third husband, in 1964, she married Welsh-born Burton.Their stormy marriage lasted ten years, with Burton lavishing jewels and other extravagant gifts on his wife. A year after their 1974 divorce, the couple wed again, but this time the union lasted just ten months.
Taylor went on to marry twice more. Now 78, she lives alone in Beverly Hills, California, and suffers from ill health.Burton died aged 58 from a brain haemorrhage at his home in Switzerland.