Dimitri Rassam, Wassim Beji Team Up On ‘Nureyev’ Biopic (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS– French producers Dimitri Rassam (“The Little Prince,” “Playmobil”) and Wassim Beji (“Yves Saint Laurent”) are set to produce “Nureyev,” an English-language biopic of Rudolf Nureyev, the celebrated Soviet dancer of ballet and modern dance.

Rodolphe Marconi, who won the Cannes Palme d’Or for his 1999 short “Stop” and directed the docu feature “Lagarfeld Confidential,” is on board to write and direct “Nureyev.”

The sprawling drama, which is produced by Rassam’s On Entertainment/Chapter 2 and Beji’s WY Productions, will chart the life of Nureyev, notably his spectacular defection to the West in 1961 and his appointment as director of the Paris Opera Ballet where he revolutionized ballet. Knows as a workaholic, impulsive and rebellious man, Nureyev fought for his art until his death in 1993.

“Nureyev’s ballets are celebrated and performed all over the world, but few really know what kind of man he was, the fascinating life he had and the sacrifices he made to stay at top of his art – This iconic figure is a limitless inspiration for generations and amazing material for a feature film,” said Rassam and Beji.

Pic, which will shoot in English, is due to start lensing in March. The producers are aiming to benefit from the newly-launched 30-percent tax rebate that applies to French films shooting in English language. The tax incentive was recently created following intense lobbying from Luc Besson for his big-budget comicbook-based “Valerian.”

One of France’s top indie producers, Rassam has produced franchise-based toonpic “The Little Prince,” which premiered at Cannes, Cesar-winning “What’s In The Name?” and “Paradise Lost” with Benicio Del Toro. Beji, an up-and-coming producer, has made Jalil Lespert’s “Yves Saint Laurent” which earned Pierre Niney a Cesar nod, and “A Perfect Man” with Niney.

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