Julie Taymor, the Tony-winning director/designer/co-writer of The Lion King, is getting busy in Hollywood. Taymor, who is currently preparing for a fall shoot of her film adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, has signed a deal with Fox 2000 to pilot a film version of The Flying Dutchman.
For now, it seems, nascent film director Taymor is gravitating toward familiar territory. Both Titus Andronicus and The Flying Dutchman were the subject of Taymor stage productions: Titus at New York Theatre for a New Audience; and Flying Dutchman at the Los Angeles Opera. It is not known whether the movie of Dutchman would mirror the L.A. production. A spokesperson at ICM, which reps Taymor, said the project was in development and production would not begin until next year.
Anthony Hopkins has been cast in the title role of Titus. M.J. Peckos, of the Overseas Film Group, which is distributing the film, said that no other casting had been set, but Kristin Scott Thomas and John Turturro have been mentioned for other roles. The movie is being financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen's Clear Blue Sky Productions and the U.K.-based N.D.F. International. Pre-production on the film has begun and shooting will commence in Rome this fall. The film will be released sometime in 1999.
Other creative personnel include Dante Ferretti (Kundun), who will be the production designer; costume designer Milena Canonera (Chariots of Fire); and Taymor's longtime collaborator Elliot Goldenthal (Juan Darien, Interview With the Vampire), who will compose the music.
-- By Robert Simonson