Ralph Fiennes will do double duty on his third film as director, “The White Crow,” additionally taking on the key role of Rudolf Nureyev’s teacher and mentor. The twice Oscar-nominated actor will join the international cast which has also added French actors Laurent Lafitte and Raphael Personnaz, French actress Calypso Valois and rising German star Louis Hofmann.
Fiennes will play Nureyev’s mentor Pushkin who helped launch the dancer’s international career beyond St Petersburg. In his role as director Fiennes has also newly enlisted “Jackie” costume designer Madeline Fontaine, director of photography Mike Eley and composer Ilan Eshkeri for his production team.
The biopic of the legendary Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer, which tells the story of story of his defection to the West, “The White Crow” is written by David Hare. Russian dancer and film newcomer Oleg Ivenko had previously been announced to play Nureyev with French actress Adele Exarchopoulos, Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova and world-renowned dancer Sergei Polunin also previously announced to star.
“The White Crow” is scheduled to begin production this summer on location in St Petersburg and Paris, including shooting at the iconic Mariinsky Theatre and the Palais Garnier. Igor Zelensky, artistic director of the Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet and Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheelson will oversee the film’s choreography.
Gabrielle Tana will act as producer for Magnolia Mae Productions alongside Francois Ivernel for Montebello Productions. BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer and Beth Pattinson will serve as executive producers. The film was developed by Tana and BBC Films.
HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and will present the package to international buyers at the Cannes Film Market.