Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades Of Grey) is to direct starry drama Rothko, which will chart how Kate Rothko, the daughter of revered U.S. painter Mark Rothko, was drawn into a well-publicised legal battle to honor her father’s legacy.
We can reveal that the film will star rising actress Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale), Oscar-winner Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind), Golden Globe-winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Golden Globe-nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name) and BAFTA-winner Jared Harris (Chernobyl).
Crowe will play artist Mark Rothko and Franciosi will portray his daughter Kate.
Adapted from the book The Legacy Of Mark Rothko by Lee Seldes, the screenplay by Lara Wood focuses on the true story of the ‘Rothko case’, the protracted legal dispute between Kate Rothko and the painter’s estate executors and the directors of his gallery, Marlborough Fine Art. The revelations in the case of greed, abuses of power and conspiracy in the art world shocked many.
Mark Rothko was the celebrated American painter of Lithuanian-Jewish descent who refused to adhere to any art movement, but is generally identified as an abstract expressionist and one of America’s greatest painters of the 20th Century. He was born in 1903 and died in 1970 from suicide, leaving behind two young children including Kate who had to take up the legal battle aged only 19.
Producers on the movie are Jared Freedman (Rising Son), David Silverton (Rising Son), Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Jonathan Schwartz and Logan Lerman are executive-producing and shoot is planned for summer 2021.
The production has already attracted a strong production team, including Oscar-winner Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) as costume designer, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (Gone Girl) and production designer Mark Friedberg (Joker).
Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades Of Grey filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson said: “Rothko is not just a movie about the great artist, but rather a timeless story about right versus wrong. It’s Kate Rothko’s journey to protect the seminal paintings from the corrupt men who betrayed her father and stole his art; it is a reckoning with men in positions of power who try everything to destroy her father’s legacy.”
Sam Taylor-Johnson is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Russell Crowe is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Aisling Franciosi by WME, Lisa Richards Agency and United Agents; Michael Stuhlbarg by ICM and Viking Entertainment; Jared Harris by ICM and Independent Talent. Aaron Taylor-Johnson by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.