British stage and screen actor Ben Whishaw has been tapped to play the late photographer Peter Hujar in a movie directed by American auteur Ira Sachs, Deadline reported.
Hujar, who died of Aids-related complications in 1987, was a leading figure in Downtown Manhattan’s arts scene, and was best known for his tender, candid portraits of the city’s cultural vanguard in the 1960s and 70s. His monochrome photographs of Fran Lebowitz, Susan Sontag and Vince Aletti are some of the most enduring images of the era.
Despite receiving only marginal public recognition during his lifetime, Hujar is now lauded as a major creative force of the 20th century, one whose relationships with Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz further solidified his place in the era’s canon. His work is held in institutional collections all over the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Modern in London and the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
Whishaw recently collaborated with Sachs on the film Passages, which has garnered significant awards buzz during the current cycle. The actor may be best known for his portrayal of Q in the most recent James Bond movies and has won numerous Bafta, Golden Globe and Emmy awards for his television and film roles.
In a conversation with Deadline, Whishaw described the upcoming, untitled Hujar movie as a “a very small, very intimate little film” that will begin production after he finishes production on the Netflix six-part thriller, Black Dove. He will star opposite Stella Schnabel (daughter of Julian Schnabel), though who she will play has not been revealed.