Shooting just started in Toronto on Anton Corbijn’s latest feature, Life, a new film that centers on the friendship of photographer Dennis Stock and film legend James Dean. Stock was commissioned in 1955 to take stock photographs of the iconic actor and a budding friendship bloomed as the two traveled across the county together. The film takes place in a pivotal moment in the unfortunately short-lived career surge that Dean had as his breakthrough performances in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause were about to hit and change the cinematic subconscious forever. Robert Pattinson (Twlight) and Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings) will portray Stock and Dean, respectively, and now Academy Award winning actor Ben Kingsley has joined the cast as movie mogul Jack Warner; Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi (To Rome With Love) has signed on as well. Life was scripted by Luke Davis.
Life marks the second time that Dutch filmmaker Corbjin has set his camera on the true story of an iconic figure – his breakthrough film was the cult favorite indie Control, which focused on the troubled (and also unfortunately short-lived) life of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. The music video veteran has since made the 2010 George Clooney thriller The American and has A Most Wanted Man, a thriller adapted from a John Le Carré novel starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman set to hit theaters some time this year. Lionsgate purchased U.S. rights to A Most Wanted Man which also stars Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright at the Sundance Film Festival that recently passed.
Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Academy Award winners for The King’s Speech) are producing the film under their See-Saw Films banner, and though it doesn’t appear that there is U.S. distribution lined up for Life yet, the film may pop up at the fall festivals to spark interest among buyers and provoke potential awards consideration.