'Vivaldi' Biopics Go Head-to-Head

Boris Damast-helmed project set to shoot in September, ahead of Patrica Riggen-directed biopic on Baroque composer.

COLOGNE, Germany – It’s dueling violins as two biopics on legendary Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi go head-to-head, with Boris Damast’s long-in-development project set to beat Patricia Riggen’s Vivaldi out of the gate.

Damast’s Vivaldi is set to begin shooting this September in Venice, Hungary, Germany and Bruges. Claire Foy (Season of the Witch) and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are attached to the project, with negotiations underway with Neve Campbell, Jacqueline Bisset, Elle Fanning, Tom Wilkinson, Alfred Molina and Sebastian Koch. Celsius Entertainment has picked up the project for international sales.

Meanwhile talents including Jessica Biel, Ben Kingsley, Luke Evans and violin supremo David Garrett have been named as possible cast members for Riggen’s take on the musical genius who was also a Catholic priest.

Damast’s script for Vivaldi, co-written with Jeffrey Freedman, tells the true story of how the composer turned a group of outcasts – the illegitimate daughters of courtesans – into an orchestra that eventually played for the Pope.

The Riggen Vivaldi, which has so far received some $3 million in production subsidies from various German regional funds, focuses on the composer’s struggle between his devotion to his music and priestly vows and to the woman he loved. A date for the start of principle photography has not yet been set.