Shahab Hosseini to Star in Biopic of Iranian Physicist Ali Javan (Exclusive)

Shahab Hosseini and Kourosh Ahari
Maury Phillips/Getty Images

Shahab Hosseini and Kourosh Ahari

'The Night' director Kourosh Ahari will write and direct the biopic of the Iranian-American physicist and inventor.

Shahab Hosseini (The Salesman) is set to star as Iranian-American physicist and inventor Ali Javan in an upcoming biopic to be written and directed by Kourosh Ahari (The Night).

Javan first proposed the concept of the gas laser in 1959 at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. A successful prototype, constructed by him in collaboration with W. R. Bennett, Jr. and D. R. Herriott, was demonstrated in 1960. Javan also contributed to the fields of quantum physics and spectroscopy. His original 1960 helium neon-laser device is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History.

Ahari, Hosseini and producer Alex Bretow's production company Pol Media has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the life of Javan. He is survived by his two daughters, Maia and Lila Javan, who will executive produce and consult on the project.

Hosseini's credits include the starring role in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning foreign-language films A Separation and The Salesman, winning best actor at Cannes for the latter.

Iranian filmmaker and producer Ahari most recently directed the horror-thriller The Night, which made history when it became the first U.S.-produced film to receive a license to release theatrically in Iran since the country’s revolution. The Night releases January 29 in theaters and at home throughout North America from IFC Midnight and is set to rollout globally later in the year.

Bretow is attached to produce the film on Javan, and previously produced The Night and Generations as well as the award-winning Iranian short Numbness.

Pol Media is currently meeting with writers to pen the script alongside Ahari, and is shopping the project to studios and distributors.