Principal photography on the movie, which will be produced by Damian Jones at DJ Films, will start next spring, with the film due for delivery at the end of 2017.
The script has been written by Chris Urch, the award-winning playwright, and is based on the biography “Blood Beneath the Skin” by Andrew Wilson.
“The film explores McQueen’s creative process in the months leading up to his [2009 retrospective] show, providing an intimate portrait of the man behind the global brand — a moving celebration of a visionary genius whose designs transcended fashion to become art,” said Pathé, which will distribute the film in the U.K., France and Switzerland, and will handle sales in the rest of the world.
The Alexander McQueen fashion label has declined to comment on the film.
O’Connell, whose father is Irish, counts “Unbroken” and “Money Monster” among his most recent films. He has also recently completed “Tulip Fever,” which also stars Alicia Vikander and Cara Delevingne, and “HHhH,” set during the height of the Third Reich in Germany. In that film, he stars alongside Rosamund Pike and Mia Wasikowska.
As reported, the film comes on the heels of a separate theatre project, “McQueen,” about the late designer and his visionary imagination. The play originally premiered at the St. James Theatre in 2015, and transferred to the larger Haymarket Theatre in London’s West End in 2015, where it ran for three months.
Haigh’s latest film, “45 Years” is about a long-married couple, played by Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, who receive troubling news about the husband’s late girlfriend.
The Andrew Haigh production is not the only McQueen film in the works. As reported in August, another film, “The Ripper,” will delve into the relationship between the late designer and the late Isabella Blow, a fashion editor and patron of McQueen’s from his days at Central Saint Martins. Blow, whose love for eccentric hats and outlandish dress sense made her a paparazzi favorite, was a muse to many designers until her suicide in 2007 after a long battle with depression. McQueen committed suicide in 2010.
While casting and movie production details are still in the works, Variety reported that Gesha-Marie Bland has written the script for the film.