Bruce Beresford to Direct Frank Lloyd Wright Biopic 'Taliesin' (Exclusive)

Bruce Beresford Headshot AFI Awards - P 2011
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

Bruce Beresford Headshot AFI Awards - P 2011

Producers J. Todd Harris and Ed Bachrach are behind the film, about the fabled American architect, which was written by Nicholas Meyer.

Veteran filmmaker Bruce Beresford has signed on to develop and direct Taliesin, a film about fabled American architect Frank Lloyd Wright from writer Nicholas Meyer.

The title refers to the architect’s former home and studio in rural Spring Green, Wis., where the key events in the film take place. The rambling hillside compound, considered a masterpiece of Prairie-style architecture, was the focus of scandal as Wright built it for himself and his married mistress Martha "Mamah" Cheney. In 1914, while Wright was away, a domestic worker murdered Cheney, her two children and four others by locking them inside and setting fire to the building.

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“It’s a very good script,” Beresford told The Hollywood Reporter. “It doesn’t cover his whole life, just a small section of it, and it doesn’t whitewash him into some sort of saint."

Beresford, who directed the best picture Oscar winner Driving Miss Daisy (1990) and was nominated for best director for Tender Mercies (1983), says he sparked to telling the tale of the private life of one of the greatest architects ever.

“There’s a documentary by Ken Burns [the 1998 film, Frank Lloyd Wright] that’s quite good, but it’s odd that there’s never been a [feature] film about him,” Beresford said.

Producers J. Todd Harris, of Branded Pictures Entertainment, and Chicago-based Ed Bachrach, of Kartemquin Films, sent Beresford the script. They are currently raising money for the project, and Beresford has recently been scouting locations in and around Chicago.

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Who would Beresford like to play the lead? “We have someone in mind, but I can’t tell you yet,” he says.

Beresford’s Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, a generational comedy starring Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year and was picked up today by IFC Films.

Beresford is repped by Gersh and Anonymous.

Meyer, repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott, recently penned Elegy and The Informant!.