There's been "Amadeus" (Mozart), "Immortal Beloved" (Beethoven) and now the life of Italian virtuoso Antonio Vivaldi will be the next celebrated composer who will receive the silver screen biopic treatment. The picture will come from little known director Boris Damast, and for a filmmaker with only the generally-panned 1999 film "Pros & Cons" under his credits, Damast has conjured up quite the ensemble cast with Max Irons and Clare Foy set to star while Elle Fanning, Neve Campbell, Jacqueline Bisset, Tom Wilkinson, Alfred Molina and Sebastian Koch are all in advanced talks to join the leading duo of up-and-comers.
Scripted by Damast and Jeffrey Freedman, the film will tell the story of how Vivaldi "turned a talented, but traumatised group of girls -- the illegimate daughters of courtesans – into a world-class orchestra which played the great concert halls of Venice and, ultimately, for the Pope" with Irons presumably tasked with playing the extravagantly-wigged virtuoso himself.
The story will also detail how Vivaldi was "exiled and separated from his beloved girls when his maverick ways arouse the suspicion of the powerful and scheming Venetian society. But, on learning of the nature of the dark plot against them, the composer does all in his power to rescue his pupils, his career and the very integrity of the city of Venice" with production set to begin this fall in Venice, Bruges, Hungary and Germany.
Another rival Vivaldi biopic, meanwhile, is reportedly in the works as well with just as an exciting array of talent linked. Luke Evans, Jessica Biel, Sir Ben Kingsley and German-American virtuoso David Garrett have all been rumored to be part of the Patricia Riggen project though, at this stage, their connection is simply described as having been "cited in the past in connection" which essentially means loose interest at one point. Instead of a traditional biopic, Riggen (who also has "See If I Care" starring Eva Mendes, Matthew Modine and Patricia Arquette due out this year) is focusing on Vivaldi’s alleged forbidden love for the soprano Anna Tessiero Giro and is working from a script by Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott.
Is there room for two Vivaldi projects and won't one cannibalize the other? We're guessing Damast's project will hit screens much earlier than Riggen's which still has no start date. [ScreenDaily]