Matt Mueller uncovers producers' efforts to transfer artwork to film.
When UK writer-director Penny Woolcock decided to retell a biblical story in Exodus, set in a near-future version of the English town of Margate, she approached UK artist Antony Gormley through Artangel, who co-produced the film with Channel 4.
Woolcock wanted Gormley to create a plague of frogs for the film's climactic sequence. In the end, Woolcock and Gormley decided instead to create a 25-metre high sacrificial sculpture and burn it to the ground in front of the local community, some of whom were outraged at the waste of wood.
Burning a work of art to the ground in the name of cinema is one thing. Losing sight of the original work is another.
For The Girl With A Pearl Earring, UK producer Andy Paterson sought permission from the gallery where the original Vermeer painting is held, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, to make the film.
But was then alarmed at how frequently he saw the painting mentioned - only for the film's portrait of Scarlett Johansson to be shown instead of the real thing.
Meanwhile, American painter Thomas Kinkade granted the rights for his painting The Christmas Cottage to be made into a biographical story about how the devout Christian artist was inspired to begin his career after his mother almost lost the family home. Lionsgate have produced the family drama, retitled Thomas Kinkade's Home For Christmas and starring Marcia Gay Garden and Peter O'Toole, with a late November release scheduled in the US.
Kinkade and his wife Nanette are producers on the project and Lionsgate also have a second project in development with the painter.