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IN THE WORKS: Fernando Meirelles To Direct Aristotle Onassis Biopic 'Nemesis'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 7, 2012 at 5:49PM

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("City of God," "The Constant Gardener") will start production on his new film in Croatia in October. "Nemesis" is a biopic of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, the second husband of Jackie Kennedy. Casting is underway, though no names have been attached yet.
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Jackie and Aristotle Onassis
Jackie and Aristotle Onassis

As his new film "360" earns mixed reviews on the fest circuit in advance of its August 3 opening via Magnolia, Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("City of God," "The Constant Gardener") is moving forward with a more commercial project set to start filming in Croatia this October. "Nemesis" is a biopic of Aristotle Onassis, the Greek tycoon and second husband of Jackie Kennedy. Casting is underway, though no names have been attached yet.

Fernando Meirelles
Fernando Meirelles

Based on the book by Brit author Peter Adams and adapted for the screen by Meirelles' "City of God" writer (and Oscar nominee) Braulio Mantovani, "Nemesis" will follow the life of Onassis from his poverty-stricken upbringing to his colossal rise and dominance of the world's merchant marine industry. It has the juicy stuff (his affair with opera singer Maria Callas, and marriage to Jackie O.) and the sad (his son and heir Alexander Onassis' airplane death, which left him hearbroken).

For locations, Croatia will double for Greece, Budapest for Buenos Aires, and London (!) will be disguised as New York.

Pathe UK will produce the film, which has a reported budget of $30 million.

This article is related to: Fernando Meirelles, Pathe, International, Production


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.