Blade Runner star to executive produce Kalliope Films’ biopic of the Dutch artist.

Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, recently seen in HBO series True Blood, is teaming with Netherlands production company Kalliope Films to executive produce biopic Van Gogh.

“I feel there is so much more to tell about ‘the man who cut off his ear’. It will be a great adventure to search for him in a contemporary film,” says Rutger.

The biopic will be the first English-language feature about the life of Vincent Van Gogh since 1956 movie Lust for Life, which starred Kirk Douglas in the lead role.

The movie will also be the first film to portray the artist’s entire life story. Previous productions have focussed mainly on the second half of his life after his mental illness fully manifested itself, such as in 1990 TV movie, Vincent and Theo which starred Tim Roth. 

Kalliope Films CEO Kira Madallo Sesay is the producer and scriptwriter. It will be co-produced by Emiel Pijnaker, Kalliope’s president of production.

The feature is financed through a combination of European equity, soft money and pre-sales.

Filming is planned for 2014, with an aim to release it internationally in 2015 to mark the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death.

It will be filmed on location throughout Europe in the various countries where Van Gogh lived, such as Belgium, France, the UK and the Netherlands. Many of the residences where the artist lived remain in good condition.

Consultants include Van Gogh book author and expert Alain Amiel as well as Claudia Schottle, an expert on life in France during the 19th century.

Madallo Sesay said: “In preparation for the film, we have spent over five years doing extensive ‘on the ground’ research. We have traveled like ‘Van Gogh detectives’ to every location and country where he lived, uncovering archives, historical documents and literally walking in his footsteps.

“We have also worked closely with our international team of Van Gogh experts who are advising us on the film to ensure accuracy. Therefore, we feel confident that we have done the utmost preparation possible to do justice in portraying the life of this extraordinary man.”

The producers are in the process of selecting a director and leading man.