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Articles about dueling projects with similar stories are a common thing here on Cinema Blend. Whether it's the on-going battle between Relativity Media and Universal for the bigger Snow White project; the already released No Strings Attached vs. the upcoming Friends With Benefits; or the multiple Peter Pan movies in development, studios are always looking for the next big thing and sometimes they stumble upon that thing at the exact same time. This newest one is easily the strangest in the bunch.
THR reports that two biopics about Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi are currently in the works. The first, directed by Boris Damast, has actually been in development for a while, but has finally gotten a start date in September and will be filming in Venice, Hungary, Germany and Bruges. Claire Foy and Max Irons are already confirmed to star, but a host of names, including Neve Campbell, Jacqueline Bisset, Elle Fanning, Tom Wilkinson, Alfred Molina and Sebastian Koch, are currently in talks. The other project, directed by Mexican filmmaker Patricia Riggen, currently has Jessica Biel, Ben Kingsley, Luke Evans and violinist David Garrett interested.
What's interesting about the two projects is that while they are about same man, they focus on different aspects of his life. Damast's film is about the famed composer organizing "illegitimate daughters of courtesans" and training them to become an orchestra that eventually played for the Pope. Riggen's take will be of a more personal nature, focusing on Vivaldi's side career as a Catholic priest and the conflicts that it caused with both his music and the woman he loved.
Dark versions of fairy tales are in and people love watching movies about hot people having sex (just look at the thriving porn industry), but I'll admit that this story takes me by surprise. I wonder if the directors ran into each other at Best Buy when they were buying copies of Amadeus.