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Matt Smith’s ‘Mapplethorpe’ Acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films

Samuel Goldwyn Films has secured North American rights to Ondi Timoner’s biopic “Mapplethorpe,” starring Matt Smith as the controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, will be released in the late fall. Timoner directed from a script she co-wrote with Mikko Alanne. The film is produced by Eliza Dushku, Timoner, Nate Dushku, and Richard J Bosner. Executive producers are Peter Palandjian and Sam Maydew.

Marianne Rendón stars as singer Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe’s longtime roommate and partner. The cast also includes John Benjamin Hickey, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kerry Butler.

Mapplethorpe discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The movie explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, where he began photographing its inhabitants and his new found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. Mapplethorpe died in 1989 from complications from AIDS.

“Robert Mapplethorpe pushed the boundaries of the art world. This film boldly follows Mapplethrope as he explores and brings them to the mainstream — displaying a word that was shocking and beautiful,” said Peter Goldwyn, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Timoner said, “I have been working to tell the story of Robert Mapplethorpe for 12 years in order to create an anthem for artists — to be visionary, to take on the impossible, to be uncompromising. He documented the gay sub-culture of the 1970s & 80s and turned that which society deemed obscene into fine art, while making photography a collectible art form and immortalizing a generation ravaged by AIDS with erotic portraiture.”

Smith’s credits include “Dr. Who” and Netflix’s “The Crown.” The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn and Nick Shumaker of UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.

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