Tony Winner Geoffrey Rush Will Portray Oliver! Composer Lionel Bart in Musical Biopic

Tony Award and Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush will portray Tony-winning Oliver! composer Lionel Bart in an upcoming musical biopic, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail.

Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

Directed by Vadim Jean — who will work with writer and composer Elliot Davis, a student Bart hired to help him transcribe his scores, on the film — the story will use Bart's music to tell his "rags-to-riches-and-back-again story."

"It's a full-blown musical, and we're using versions of his songs in ways that you've never heard before," Jean told the Daily Mail.

Rush, who won a 2009 Tony Award for his performance in Exit the King, will play Bart in his later years. Jean and BBC Films executives are searching for an actor to portray the composer between the ages of 28 and 35.

Peter Darling (Matilda, Billy Elliot) is attached to choreograph the film, which plans to begin filming this autumn.