For the last 15 years, Bring It On and Dollhouse actress Eliza Dushku and her brother Nate Dushku have been trying to mount a biopic about controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

“It’s not the easiest thing to get an art film financed, we’re not a Marvel comic,” she told Deadline at our Tribeca studio.

In 2002, Eliza and Nate were introduced to the original script for Mapplethorpe by writer, Bruce Goodrich. In 2006, Goodrich optioned his screenplay to documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner. The parties approached the Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2008 seeking backing and support for a film.  A match was made marrying director Timoner and the Dushku siblings who funded the option from the Foundation for the right to tell the artist’s life story and reproduce his artwork for the film. In 2009, scribe Mikko Alanne joined the project to work on the script.

After her doc We Live in Public, Timoner was approached by the Sundance Institute and she submitted the Mapplethorpe script. Eight years ago, Timoner, Goodrich, and Eliza and Nate Dushku were invited to Sundance’s Director, Writer, and Producer Labs were they received notes from such notables including Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Richard Linklater.

Tthe Dushkus were turned onto Mapplethorpe, who was known for his blunt take on controversial subjects such as New York’s underground BDSM scene in the ’60s and ’70s, by their mother.  Said Eliza Dushku, “I remember speaking to our mother about when she attended one of Mapplethorpe’s exhibits in Boston. All the artwork was covered up and the people had put their heads under a curtain in order to view it.”

Watch our video interview with cast members Matt Smith (who plays the title role) and Marianne Rendon (who plays his squeeze punk rocker Patti Smith), the Dushkus and Timoner. Remaining showtimes for Mapplethorpe are as follows.