Report: Anna Nicole Smith Opera in the Works

The British writer who turned the "Jerry Springer Show" into an opera is hoping to do the same with the tragic life of Anna Nicole Smith.

Richard Thomas, who wrote the libretto to "Jerry Springer: The Opera," is collaborating with composer Mark-Anthony Turnage on an opera about the late former Playboy Playmate, the Independent reports.

"It's an incredible story," Thomas told the paper. "It's very operatic and sad. She was quite a smart lady with the tragic flaw that she could not seem to get through life without a vat of prescription painkillers."

The opera, in the early stages of development, will be staged at the Royal Opera House, the paper said.

Smith died at the age of 39 on Feb. 8, 2007, from an overdose of prescription drugs in Florida. Her death sparked a custody battle between her lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and her lover, Larry Birkhead, over her daughter, Dannielynn, who was living in the Bahamas at the time of Smith's death.

Thomas plans to focus only on the life of Smith and not the rocking legal battles that followed.

"For me, it ends when she does," he said. "It's an American story. I love American culture. Especially for opera, the stories seem to work on a grander, more epic scale. They seem more extreme — it's a blessing and a curse."

Click here to read the full report at the Independent.