Joely Richardson is in negotiations to join Paganini – The Devil’s Violinist, in which the violinist David Garrett is set to make his acting debut as Niccolo Paganini, the 19th century violinist and composer. Richardson would play Ethel Langham, a journalist who played a significant in Paganini’s career.
Bernard Rose (Immortal Beloved, Anna Karenina) is writing and directing the film, which will be produced by Summerstorm Entertainment, a subsidiary of Christian Angermayer’s Film House Germany, along with co-producers Bavaria Media Italia and Dor Film. The producers are Gabriela Bacher, Rosilyn Heller and Angermayer. Danny Krausz and Philipp Kreuzer are co-producing, with Garrett serving as executive producer. With principal photography scheduled to begin in Vienna in July, the producers are expected to announce further casting during the Cannes Film Market.
The film will focus on the Faustian pact Paganini made with his manager as they created a myth around his persona that made him a superstar performer, taking Europe by storm. “David Garrett is a tremendous talent, a true rock star of the classical music and crossover world who recognized in Paganini a kindred spirit. For David to take on this role and illuminate the soul of an original, seductive, troubled and defiant artist – who, indeed, was the rock star of his day – fulfills our wildest dreams,” Heller said. Richardson, who is repped by ICM and Ken McReddie Associates, most recently appeared in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and will be seen in the upcoming thriller Red Lights.