BERLIN– TF1 Studio has cut some early deals on Rodolphe Marconi’s ambitious “Nureyev” biopic which will star Marine Vacth (“Young & Beautiful”) and ballet dancer Vasily Tkachenko in the title role. Diane Kruger was previously in advanced talks to star but has dropped out of the project.
Produced by a pair of well-established French producers, Wassim Beji at Wy Productions (“Yves Saint Laurent,””Based on a True Story”) and Olivier Delbosc at Curiosa Films (“The Midwife”), “Nureyev” has already pre-sold to Japan’s Kino Films and Korea’s The Content Shop” within the first few days of the EFM. TF1 Studio is in the process of closing more deals.
“Nureyev” will mark the acting debut of Tkachenko, who appeared “Swan Lake 3D – Live From the Mariinsky Theatre” in 2013. Marconi previously directed “This Is My Body” with Louis Garrel and Jane Birkin, “The Last Day” with Nicole Garcia, Gaspard Ulliel and Mélanie Laurent, as well as “Lagerfeld Confidential” a docu feature with Karl Lagerfeld, Nicole Kidman and Brad Kroening, among others.
A glamorous and crossover take on Nureyev, Marconi’s film is expected to differ from the rival Nureyev project “The White Crow,” directed by Ralph Fiennes.
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Budget at 9 million euros ($9.75 million), “Nureyev” will focus on milestones in the dancer’s life, beginning with his defection in Paris and his rise to prominence, his encounters with Clara Saint, Yves Saint Laurent and dancer Margot Fonteyn, his international career as part of The Royal Ballet and eventually his return to Paris in the 1980s as head of Paris Opera, guiding the opera into its golden age.
“This biopic of Nureyev will center on the bright side of this amazing character, a man who is bigger than life, a visionary who changed the ballet forever, reinterpreting timeless classics and fighting conservatism. He dedicated his life to his art,” said Sabine Chemaly, who handles international sales at TF1 Studio.
Tkachenko will star as Nureyev in the first portion of film, which will feature many ballet scenes. Alex Brendemuhl (“From the Land of the Moon”) will play the older Nureyev.
The producers have acquired rights to the choreography of Nureyev and will shoot the movie at Paris Opera and The Royal Ballet, among other locations.