Ralph Fiennes is set to direct The White Crow, about the life of legendary Russian ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev. It’s based on the book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh. The Hours scribe David Hare adapts the script while Gabrielle Tana will produce through Magnolia Mae Productions together with Francois Ivernel’s Montebellow Productions.

Nureyev was a renowned ballet dancer and choreographer in the 1950s who went on to become the director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko will play Nureyev, with Adele Exarchopoulos cast as Clara Saint, the cultured woman who opened Nureyev’s eyes to the nouvelle vague Paris and helped choreograph his defection. Film is shooting in St. Petersburg and Paris this summer.

Hanway Films is handling worldwide sales and selling the title in Berlin next week.

Fiennes is repped by Dalzell & Beresford and CAA.