Russell Crowe to Star Alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Stuhlbarg in ‘Rothko’


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Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the true story of the Rothko trial from a screenplay by Lara Wood.


The fight to preserve art is more important now than ever. A new film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson revolves around this battle as it follows one woman’s real-life stand to protect her late father’s legacy. Taylor-Johnson’s new movie Rothko, which tells the true story of Kate Rothko‘s legal battle against men attempting to sell her father Mark Rothko‘s art, has recently announced its cast via a press release from distributor Rocket Science.

Russell Crowe (Boy ErasedA Beautiful Mind) has been tapped to play Rothko, alongside many big gets including Aisling Franciosi (who will play Kate Rothko), as well as Aaron Taylor-Johnson (TenetAvengers: Age of Ultron), Michael Stuhlbarg (Shirley, Call Me By Your Name) and Jared Harris (Chernobyl). The film is being adapted from the book The Legacy of Mark Rothko by Lee Seldes, with a screenplay by Lara WoodJared FreedmanDavid Silverton, Taylor-Johnson, and Taylor-Johnson will serve as producers, with Jonathan Schwartz and Logan Lerman executive producing. Rothko has also brought on several impressive names for its production, among them Colleen Atwood as costume designer, Jeff Cronenweth as cinematographer, and Mark Friedberg as production designer.

Aisling Franciosi in The Nightingale

Image via IFC Films

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Rothko is not just a movie about the great artist, but rather a timeless story about right versus wrong,” said director Taylor-Johnson in a statement. “It’s Kate Rothko’s journey to protect the seminal paintings from the corrupt men who betrayed her father and stole his art; it is a reckoning with men in positions of power who try everything to destroy her father’s legacy.”

Rothko does not currently have a release date; we’ll share more as details emerge. Here is the synopsis for Rothko:

The Rothko trial – and the events that preceded it – is the shocking account of how a seemingly powerless young woman takes on an unscrupulous group of powerful middle-aged men – and wins. At 19, Kate Rothko finds herself suddenly both an orphan and a mother to her younger brother Topher (age 7). Alone and inexperienced, she turns to her father’s three closest friends for guidance – anthropology professor Morton Levine; Theodore Stamos a semi-successful painter and accountant turned gallery director Bernard J. Reis. When she discovers these men have put in place an elaborate scheme to sell Mark Rothko’s art fraudulently, she moves heaven and earth to prevent this blatant abuse of her father’s trust. Bereaved but armed with the conviction that justice must prevail, Kate is ready to lose everything. With the help of assistant Attorney General Gus Harrow, she takes on a legal battle that would rumble on for more than four years and expose the underhanded greed of the supposedly genteel art world.

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