By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 10, 2012 at 5:39PM
Bernard Rose's period biopic “Paganini - The Devil’s Violinist” will start production in July in Vienna; Joely Richardson is in final talks to join global violinist star David Garrett, who makes his acting debut in the title role. Writer-director Rose (“Immortal Beloved,” “Anna Karenina”) is an enthusiastic musician and pianist.
The film is being produced by Gabriela Bacher (“What a Man”), Rosilyn Heller (“Trade”) and Christian Angermayer of Film House Germany. Danny Krausz (“360”) and Philipp Kreuzer (“Solitude of Prime Numbers”) are co-producing. Star David Garrett will also executive produce.
The film is set in the early 19th Century, as world-famous violinist Niccolo Paganini makes a Faustian pact with his manager to create a myth around his persona--and then has to deal with press hordes. Paganini also meets the love of his life, journalist Ethel Langham. Richardson (“Anonymous,” “The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo”) is in final negotiations to play the role.
“David Garrett is a tremendous talent, a true rock star of the classical music and crossover world who recognized in Paganini a kindred spirit," says Heller. "For David to take on this role and illuminate the soul of an original, seductive, troubled and defiant artist --who, indeed, was the rock star of his day -- fulfils our wildest dreams."