The official trailer for director Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe biopic is out, portraying the controversial artist as he ascends from nowhere to become one of the most talked-about media creators of the 20th Century.

Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith is Robert Mapplethorpe, with Marianne Rendon as punk poet/rocker Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe’s muse.

Mapplethorpe discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The film depicts Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea Hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. There, he began photographing its inhabitants and his new circle of friends, including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the BDS&M underground.

That work displayed eroticism in a way that had never been examined nor displayed before to the public. Much of it was derided or outright banned in certain locales during his lifetime, which was shortened by his death from AIDS in 1989. 

Film was written by Timoner and Mikko Alanne, with Smith, Rendón, John Benjamin Hickey, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kerry Butler. 

Producers are Eliza Dushku, Timoner, Nate Dushku and Richard J. Bosner, with executive producers Peter Palandjian and Sam Maydew. Samuel Goldwyn Films is the distributor, with an anticipated release date of March 1.   

The film bowed at the Tribeca Film Festival.