Celebrated and controversial film director Roman Polanski will helm a big-screen adaptation of David Ives’ Tony-nominated erotic comedy Venus in Fur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Polanski and Ives are co-writing the screenplay, which will be performed in French and star Polanski’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Louis Garrel. Filming is scheduled to begin in Paris in November.
Based on the novella by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (whose name inspired the term sado-masochism), Venus in Fur centers on a sexually charged encounter in a rehearsal studio between an aspiring actress and the writer/director of a new play. Nina Arianda won the 2012 Best Actress Tony Award for her performance as the mysterious actress, which she created off-Broadway in 2010 and reprised on Broadway in 2011. The writer/director was played off-Broadway by Wes Bentley and on Broadway by Hugh Dancy.
Polanski has been living abroad since fleeing America after pleading guilty to a 1977 incident of unlawful sex with a minor. He won the Best Director Oscar for The Pianist and most recently helmed Carnage, a film adaptation of Yasmina Reza's Tony-winning stage comedy God of Carnage.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to make a film in French with Emmanuelle for a long time,” the 79-year-old director told The Hollywood Reporter of his 46-year-old wife. “Reading Venus in Fur, I realized the moment had arrived.”