Willem Dafoe is set to play Vincent van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s upcoming project At Eternity’s Gate. Schnabel, who nabbed the Best Director prize in Cannes in 2007 for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, writes the script with Jean-Claude Carriere. Rocket Science is handling international sales and CAA is repping domestic rights.

Jon Kilik (The Hunger Games, Babel) will produce the film, which focuses on the time in Van Gogh’s life he spent in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Pic will be shot on location in France.

Van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter among the most famous and influential in the history of Western art. In 1886, he moved to Paris where he met members of the avant-garde including Paul Gauguin. At Eternity’s Gate is a film about creativity and the sacrifices he made to produce the spectacular masterpieces that are instantly recognizable around the world today.

“This is a film about painting and a painter and their relationship to infinity,” said Schnabel. “It is told by a painter. It contains what I felt were essential moments in his life; this is not the official history – it’s my version. One that I hope could make you closer to him.”

Schnabel also directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem’s breakthrough Oscar-nominated role. Diving Bell And The Butterfly was nominated for four Oscars, and won a Golden Globe.

Dafoe stars in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, which is world premiering here at Cannes. He is currently filming Aquaman and will next be seen in Justice League, both for DC Comics and Warner Bros. Kilik has produced more than 30 features, working with directors such as Oliver Stone, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Jim Jarmusch. He has produced all of Schnabel’s films.

Schnabel is repped by CAA and Dafoe by CAA, The Artists Partnerships and Circle of Confusion.