American film star John Malkovich has been cast to portray Gustav Klimt, in the first film biography of the great Austrian painter.
Klimt was best known for his murals and portraits and was a founder of the Vienna Secession movement in the late 19th century.
A spokesman for Epo-Film, the film's producer, said the English language production will be filmed in Paris, Vienna, and Cologne beginning early next year, and will be directed by Raoul Ruiz, a Chilean film-maker. Titled "Klimt," it is scheduled to be released next fall.
"To sum up the movie in two words, I would say 'delirium and lust'," Ruiz was quoted as saying.
Klimt (1862-1918) was a powerful artistic figure in the Art Nouveau movement, called Jugendstil in Austria, that swept Europe and later the United States prior to World War I. In the past 25 years his sensuous and even erotic paintings of women and lovers enveloped in flat swirls of decorative color patterns and gold leaf have become as popular in America as the works of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.