‘All of Us Strangers’ Director Andrew Haigh to Craft Leonardo Da Vinci Film For Universal

Is one renaissance man about to take on another? Apparently so, as IndieWire has confirmed that Andrew Haigh has been tapped to helm a highly anticipated adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s lauded 2017 biography of Leonardo Da Vinci. Paramount had initially won the film rights when the book was first released and even cast the world’s 2nd most famous Leonardo, Di Caprio, in the lead role. Unfortunately, its version eventually went into turnaround allowing Universal to swoop in (perhaps with the use of Da Vinci’s ornithopter) and create a fresh package with Haigh. Initially it was announced that Christopher Hampton would be scripting the piece, but with Haigh now onboard, Universal looks to be giving him full creative oversight, perhaps in an effort to summon the spirit of Da Vinci himself.

Walter Isaacson is the preeminent biographer of the modern era. The former CEO of CNN and editor of Time, he’s gone on to produce thought-provoking examinations of some of this world’s most complex leaders and thinkers. From Henry Kissinger to Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs to Elon Musk, he’s unveiled multitudes, but no work is more thorough than his biography of Leonardo Da Vinci. Published by Simon & Schuster, the biography is based on thousands of notebooks Da Vinci left behind and new discoveries Isaacson was able to unearth in his research. What’s presented is an accessible portrait and study of a man who’s rebellious spirit and passionate curiosity opened the world to a new sense of imagination, both artistic and scientific.

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Though he began his career as an apprentice and assistant editor on blockbuster Ridley Scott films “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down”, the Da Vinci project marks the first major studio production for Haigh as a writer/director. His previous HBO television series “Looking”, as well as his films “Weekend”, “45 Years”, “Lean on Pete”, and most recently “All of Us Strangers”, have all been critical darlings, but relatively small-scale productions. It will be interesting to see how Haigh’s sensibilities, which tend to be more intimate and contemplative, will translate to a large-scale epic or even to period detail, but there’s no doubt he’s ready to level-up in his career and this project is the perfect opportunity to do so.

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