Thomas Kretschmann To Star As Composer Richard Wagner In Biopic ‘Wagner In Venice’ — EFM

Thomas Kretschmann To Star As Composer Richard Wagner In Biopic ‘Wagner In Venice’ — EFM

February 18, 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Prolific German actor Thomas Kretschmann, star of movies including The Pianist, King Kong and the upcoming Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny, is to play seminal and controversial German composer Richard Wagner in a new biopic.

The movie will chart the journey of Richard and Cosima Wagner as they arrive in Venice following the prèmiere of Parsifal in 1882. The plot will turn on an alternative history, as it will see Wagner’s father-in-law, Franz Liszt, follow the couple soon after as news of a comet headed towards earth launches Wagner into composing one final piece of music.

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Marton Csokas (The Equalizer) will play fellow-composer Liszt in the project which is being sold at Berlin’s EFM by Motus Studios.

Daniel Graham (Prizefighter: The Life Of Jem Belcher) is writer-director and the team is aiming to shoot in Venice in late spring, 2023.

Emanuele Moretti (Assassin Club) is producing with Alessia Alciati for Motus Studios alongside Sol Papadopoulos (Sunset Song) of Hurricane Films.

Graham said: “Wagner In Venice is a return to the theme of my first film Opus Zero, that of the artist searching for answers that cannot be found in the material world. In this story, I am fictionalising Wagner’s death in Venice in the spirit of one of his own operas. Think of it as an homage to one of the greatest composers of all time.”

Wagner is widely considered one of the key German composers in the history of music. Alongside his musical feats, his life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. He is also a figure of controversy due to antisemitic tropes and sentiments in his work and writings.

The composer’s Ride Of The Valkyries was famously used by Francis Ford Coppola in Apocalypse Now and he has been portrayed in multiple movie biopics including 1983 film Wagner starring Richard Burton.

Kretschmann recently starred in Brandon Cronenberg’s Sundance title Infinity Pool and has had supporting roles in movies as diverse as Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Downfall. He will next be seen in a key role in Lucasfilm and Disney’s Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny. Csokas will star in Blumhouse and Prime Video’s upcoming horror House Of Spoils and is in post on Pierre Morel action-comedy Freelance.

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