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Considering how many biopics get made in a year, it’s kind of astounding how many there are that don’t get made, for people both famous and not. And if I would just casually toss the name Eadweard Muybridge out there, would you immediately know who I was talking about? He's the 19th century photographer known as the "Father of the Motion Picture." And would it surprise you that this article is about the third feature concerning Muybridge to be announced in the last year and a half? Andy Serkis was attached to one, and the other is to be an adaptation of The Inventor and the Tycoon. You won’t be surprised to know that this is the most promising of the three though.
The Wrap reports that thespian extraordinaire Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises) is planning on making a Muybridge-centered biopic titled Flying Horse his second directorial feature, inspired by the book River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. Oldman directed the 1997 drama Nil by Mouth, as well as last year’s concert film Jack White: Unstaged. Nothing is in writing yet, but he’s already announced his plans on recruiting actors Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) – whom Oldman worked with in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - to star in his film.
Oldman himself wrote the script, and it centers on Muybridge and the affair between his wife, Flora, and theater critic Harry Larkyns, who was later murdered by the jealous husband, who was later acquitted of the crimes. Oldman wants Fiennes in the leading role, with Cumberbatch as the critic, and may even take his own role in the film as Dennis Spencer, the prosecutor in Muybridge’s case.
Production is set to begin next year, after financing comes together. It’s noted that this may run into production of Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which Cumberbatch is set to star in. The world always needs more Oldman and Cumberbatch, so here’s hoping that financing comes in quickly.