Ralph Fiennes will direct The White Crow, a biopic of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
The new project by Fiennes, whose previous directorial efforts are Coriolanus and The Invisible Woman, will be based on Julie Kavanagh’s book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life.
David Hare, nominated for Oscars in the best screenplay category for The Hours and The Reader, will write the script.
The White Crow is being developed by the BBC Films and produced by Oscar-nominated Gabrielle Tana through Magnolia Mae Productions, with Francois Ivernel through the French branch of his company Montebello Productions.
“This is a story of an uncompromising spirit, of homeland and ideologies that restrict, and of friendship,” said Fiennes. “It is equally, a tale about the life and ballet culture he left behind in Russia.”
Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko will play the lead alongside Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) as Clara Saint, a French woman who assisted Nureyev’s defection from the Soviet Union.
Russian dancer Sergei Polunin and actress Chulpan Khamatova are also joining the cast.
Production is set to begin in the summer, with shooting on location in St. Petersburg and Paris.