Sam Taylor-Johnson’s next film, Rothko, adds Russell Crowe and more

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Russell Crowe joins an impressive creative team to tell the story of one of the biggest scandals the art world has ever witnessed.

The debate regarding ownership of art is one that commonly reappears. Every time a Banksy mural on a public street is somehow sold to private investors, or every time a filmmaker returns to needlessly tinker with a beloved film much to its fans consternation, the argument resurfaces. Art resonates with us so deeply that often the legal specifics of who actually owns it seems irrelevant.

As an art form itself, it’s a theme that cinema has explored successfully before and will be doing so again with the announcement of director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s next project, Rothko. 

The film, based on a true story, charts the fortunes of a young woman who finds out that three former family friends have conspired to cheat her out of her inheritance: her late father, artist Mark Rothko’s, body of work. As such, Kate Rothko is forced to challenge the conspirators and attempts to stop them from selling her father’s legacy.

The creative team involved here is impressive too. Sam Taylor Johnson (A Million Little Pieces) will direct based on the book by Lee Seldes, whilst her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson will feature alongside The Nightingale's Aisling Franciosi.

The brilliant Jared Harris will feature (surely as one of the dastardly art sellers?) whilst Russell Crowe will also appear as the artist Mark Rothko.

Speaking about the project, director Taylor-Johnson said that “Rothko is not just a movie about the great artist, but rather a timeless story about right versus wrong. It’s Kate Rothko’s journey to protect the seminal paintings from the corrupt men who betrayed her father and stole his art; it is a reckoning with men in positions of power who try everything to destroy her father’s legacy.”

We’re certainly keen to see how this one develops. There’s no release date set as yet, but we’ll let you know if we hear more.


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