Shainberg focuses on ‘Arbus’ biopic

Photog project to be based on Bosworth book

NEW YORK —  “Secretary” director Steven Shainberg will reteam with scribe Erin Cressida Wilson to explore the life of photographer Diane Arbus.

“Arbus” will be based on the biography by Patricia Bosworth. Known for her controversial and disturbing photos, Arbus committed suicide in 1971.

“I love the challenge of writing a deeply complex and poetic tale in an uplifting, sexy, humorous way,” said Wilson, who mined similar themes in “Secretary.”

Arbus’ work “emerged from a deeply private place and profoundly affected all those who came into contact with it,” said Shainberg, who is also an avid collector of American photography. “I used to stare at her images and wonder, How did she come to take such a photograph? That for me is the great question for the film. I hope the answer will lead us not to a ‘biopic’ per se but to a film that lives up to Arbus’ audacious vision.”

Pic will be produced by Edward R. Pressman Film Corp., Bonnie Timmermann and Iron Films. Alessandro Camon and Michael Roban will exec produce; latter also exec produced “Secretary.” International rights will be handled by Content Intl. Production is expected to begin next year.

It was Timmermann who brought Bosworth’s book to Pressman, and they have been cooking the project together for the last five years.

Timmermann’s a well-known casting director, but her producing credits include “The Guys,” “Death and the Maiden” and HBO’s “In the Gloaming.” Iron Films’ credits include short “Popcorn Shrimp” and “The World V Day-Documentary.”

Shainberg’s next project will be “Urban Townie” for Warner Bros. Simon and Schuster will publish Wilson’s first novel next year.

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