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Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman) has been tapped to direct a new biopic about Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fiennes, an Oscar-nominated actor for The English Patient and Schindler’s List, has previously directed Coriolanus and The Invisible Woman. 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.”
Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko will play Nureyev. Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) co-stars as Clara Saint, a French woman who assisted Nureyev’s defection from the Soviet Union. Also in the cast are Chulpan Khamatova and Russian dancer Sergei Polunin.
Screenwriter David Hare, who has received Oscar nominations for writing The Hours and The Reader, will adapt the screenplay from Julie Kavanagh’s book Rudolf Nueyev: The Life. BBC Films is developing the project which will be produced by Gabrielle Tana through Magnolia Mae Productions and Francois Ivernel through Montebello Productions. Joe Oppenheimer and Beth Pattinson are executive producing for BBC Films.
Production is set to begin this summer. Shooting will be on location in St. Petersburg and Paris.