×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ralph Fiennes to Direct Rudolf Nureyev Movie ‘The White Crow’

Ralph Fiennes is to direct “The White Crow,” written by David Hare, which centers on the life of Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. HanWay Films is handling world sales and will introduce the project to buyers in Berlin.

The film is based on Julie Kavanagh’s book “Rudolf Nureyev: The Life,” which “delves into the most cinematic, cultural and politically charged chapter of [the life of Nureyev], a fearless, explosive personality both on and off the stage,” according to a statement.

Fiennes said: “This is a story of an uncompromising spirit, of homeland and ideologies that restrict, and of friendship. It is, equally, a tale about the life and ballet culture he left behind in Russia.”

The film is being produced by Gabrielle Tana, who was nominated for an Academy Award for “Philomena,” through Magnolia Mae Productions, and Francois Ivernel through Montebello Productions.

Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko will play Nureyev and Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color”) plays Clara Saint, who opened Nureyev’s eyes to the Nouvelle Vague in Paris and helped choreograph his defection. The cast also includes Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin and Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova.

Ralph Fiennes will intimately capture the raw physicality and brilliance of Nureyev, while David Hare’s script delivers a tight and thrilling insight into his dangerous defection to the West in 1961 Paris, choreographed by the dancer’s great friend, 21-year-old Parisian Clara Saint,” according to the statement. “In a finale at Le Bourget airport in Paris, ‘The White Crow’ climaxes with that global event, reenacting a day that captivated and stunned the world over and proved to be one of the West’s greatest propaganda coups during the Cold War.”

The film will shoot on location in St. Petersburg and Paris, including the Mariinsky Theater and the Palais Garnier. Production is set to begin this summer.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jon Voight'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' film

    President Trump to Award Jon Voight the National Medal of Arts

    President Trump will present actor Jon Voight, musician Allison Krauss, and mystery writer James Patterson with the national medal of arts. Voight is one of few in Hollywood who has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “the greatest president of this century.” The White House announced four recipients [...]

  • Zack Snyder arrives at the 2018

    'Justice League': Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder Support Release of 'Snyder Cut'

    Zack Snyder, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck have taken to social media to request that Warner Bros. release the Snyder cut of “Justice League.” Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and was “Justice League’s” original director, had to leave production on the film partway through after his daughter died, with Joss [...]

  • Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On?

    Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On? (Column)

    Do we choose sides when we watch “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s brilliant and wrenching drama of divorce? The question, on the face of it, sounds facile in a dozen ways the movie isn’t. Rarely are there winners in divorce, and there are two sides to every breakup. “Marriage Story” is a movie that reflects that [...]

  • The Letter

    IDFA: Kenyan Documentary ‘The Letter’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given access to the trailer for Kenyan documentary “The Letter,” by producer-director duo Christopher King and Maia Lekow, which world premieres Nov. 23 at IDFA. The film follows a young man who travels to his grandmother’s rural home when he learns she’s been accused of witchcraft. He soon discovers that the threatening letter she [...]

  • Warner Bros. Box Office

    With 'Good Liar' and 'Doctor Sleep,' Warner Bros.' Box Office Misfortunes Mount

    When Warner Bros. was crafting its 2019 slate, the studio took pains to offer more than just superhero movies. To be sure, there were lots of masked vigilantes too, but more than any of its big studio brethren, Warner Bros. was willing to take a risk on the kinds of thrillers, adult dramas, coming-of-age stories, [...]

  • Constance Wu

    Will Constance Wu Ever Watch 'Hustlers'?

    Despite her leading role, Constance Wu has never seen “Hustlers” and, spoiler alert, it’s very unlikely that she will. Wu explained why she doesn’t want to watch the film to Mindy Kaling (“Late Night”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” “This is crazy,” Kaling said in the beginning of the interview. “I [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    'Ford v Ferrari' Outmatches 'Charlie's Angels' at International Box Office

    Disney and 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” sped ahead of fellow new release, Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels,” at the international box office. Director James Mangold’s racing drama collected $21.4 million from 41 foreign markets, representing 67% of its overseas rollout. “Ford v Ferrari” also kicked off with $31 million in North America, bringing its global [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content