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Rutger Hauer Boards Van Gogh Biopic

Rutger Hauer Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images
Rutger Hauer

The Dutch screen legend will executive produce the big-screen recounting of the artist's life and loves, which is set for a 2014 start and a 2015 release.

LONDON – Plans to mount an English-language biopic of legendary Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh have gotten the nod of approval from another famous Dutchman, Rutger Hauer.

Hauer, the star of Blade Runner and TV's True Blood, has come aboard Van Gogh as an executive producer for the big-screen treatment of the world-famous artist behind such famous paintings as Sunflowers and Starry Night.

The project will be produced and written by Kira Madallo Sesay, the CEO of U.S.- and Europe-based production banner Kalliope Films. The backers aim to release the biopic on or around the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh's death in 2015.

The script details the story of the painter, whose work displays his genius and madness in equal measure.

"I feel there is so much more to tell about 'the man who cut off his ear.' It will be a great adventure to search for him in a contemporary film," said Hauer.

Van Gogh will be the first English-language feature film about the life of the artist since the 1956 movie Lust for Life, starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh.

The movie backers also claim it will be the first project to portray Van Gogh's entire life story, with previous film and TV attempts focusing on the second half of his life, after his mental illness fully manifested itself.

Kalliope Films president of production Emiel Pijnaker is co-producing the film with backing from a combination of European equity, soft money and presales.

The movie will be filmed on location throughout Europe in the various countries where Van Gogh lived, such as Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Several of the world's experts on Van Gogh are attached as the film's official consultants, including the acclaimed Alain Amiel.

"In preparation for the film, we have spent over five years doing extensive 'on the ground' research. We have traveled like 'Van Gogh detectives' to every location and country where he lived, uncovering archives, historical documents and literally walking in his footsteps," said Sesay.

The project is out to directors now.