Los Angeles - Matt Smith will play photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the new biopic.
The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies star has been signed to star as the pioneer of photography who died aged 42 in 1989 after a long battle with the AIDS virus, and will be joined by Girls actress Zosia Mamet who is set to play Robert's one-time lover Patti Smith.
Robert photographed the biggest artists and musicians of his era including the likes of Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones and most famously dated Patti Smith, whose album Horses uses one of his pictures.
He was also best known for creating large stylized black and white portraits of pictures of nude men and women as well as images of flowers.
While James Franco was originally tipped to play the famed photographer when the project got off the ground in 2012, director Ondi Timoner is delighted to get Matt on board.
She told Deadline: "After several years of developing this script and searching across the globe for the perfect talent to embody the rich and layered roles of visionary artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, I am ecstatic to have found Matt Smith and Zosia Mamet. They will bring indelible passion, raw humanity, and authenticity to this timeless, inspiring story."
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