Ten years after she began her crusade, the film was developed with the younger Michele Pfeiffer in the lead role. The story of this shift and of the cruelty of Hollywood is an interesting read. In this London Telegraph article, all is revealed, at least from one person's point of view, including some valuable insights into the story as written by Colette and where the movie, as finally produced, diverges from her intent.
I add, here, photos of Colette herself, young and old, so that you might see that when the woman writes of youth/beauty vs. age/self-possession, she knows of which she writes. —Charlotte