Hollywood is showing an interest of late in Robert Mapplethorpe, the avant-garde photographer who died in 1989. HBO premiered a documentary about the New York artist at the Sundance Film Festival last Friday, and soon, according to Deadline Hollywood, a biopic about Mapplethorpe will hit the big screen.
Matt Smith, the former star of Dr. Who, has been cast to play the leading role in Mapplethorpe. Zosia Mamet, who plays Shoshanna on HBO's Girls, is set to play Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe's former lover and longtime friend. Award-winning documentarian Ondi Timoner is the director, according to Deadline, which said the film will begin production this summer.
Smith, the iconic singer, artist and writer, detailed her relationship with Mapplethorpe in her 2010 memoir Just Kids. The setting—New York's downtown arts and music scene in the1960s and '70s—intoxicated readers and helped spark a renewed interest in the period. Smith met Mapplethorpe on her first day in New York in 1967 and, as she recounts in her book, the pair knew they were no longer alone.
Mapplethorpe, who died in at the age of 42 from complications of AIDS, had his first major shows in 1977, drawing critical praise and scrutiny for his depiction of male nudes and sadomasochistic images. He also took the iconic cover photo for Smith's first album, Horses, which came out in 1975.
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