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Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson has amassed a major team of on-screen talent for her next feature, The Hollywood Reporter can confirm.
Rothko, formally announced on the final day of the European Film Market, will see Academy Award winner Russell Crowe play world renowned abstract painter Mark Rothko, with Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (teaming up with his wife again after A Million Little Pieces and Nowhere Boy), Golden Globe nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (Shirley, The Shape of Water), BAFTA winner Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Lincoln) and rising Irish star Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale, Black Narcissus) also starring.
Adapted from the book The Legacy of Mark Rothko by Lee Seldes, the screenplay by Lara Wood focuses on the true story of Kate Rothko’s uncompromising ‘David vs Goliath’ fight against a corrupt elite to protect her late father’s legacy and bring his art back to the people. Franciosi will play Kate Rothko.
“Rothko is not just a movie about the great artist, but rather a timeless story about right versus wrong,” said Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is herself part of the acclaimed group of U.K. creatives known as the Young British Artists that emerged in the late 1980s. “It’s Kate Rothko’s journey to protect the seminal paintings from the corrupt men who betrayed her father and stole his art; it is a reckoning with men in positions of power who try everything to destroy her father’s legacy.
Jared Freedman (Rising Son, The Carter, Like Water), David Silverton (Rising Son), Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson will produce the film, which will shoot in Summer 2021. Jonathan Schwartz and Logan Lerman are executive producing.
The production has already attracted a production team including Academy Award winner Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Bombshell, Chicago, Big Fish) as costume designer, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (Gone Girl, The Social Network) and production designer Mark Friedberg (Joker, If Beale St Could Talk, Selma).
Rocket Science is handling international sales and CAA Media Finance is representing the U.S. rights.
Sam Taylor-Johnson is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Russell Crowe is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Aisling Franciosi by WME, Lisa Richards Agency and United Agents; Michael Stuhlbarg by ICM and Viking Entertainment; Jared Harris by ICM, Gateway Management and Independent Talent. And Aaron Taylor-Johnson is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
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