Robert Mapplethorpe, legendary music and art photographer, gets the biopic treatment

James Franco will play Patti Smith's ex, and leading light of New York's downtown scene in a new movie.


Words by: Charlie Jones

Robert Mapplethorpe went out with Patti Smith in the 70s and was one of the most gifted photographers of his generation. He led a fascinating life, leaving his fire-and-brimstone Catholic upbringing to live as a starving artist in New York, to shooting the art stars of the day (including many musicians – it’s his picture on the cover of ‘Horses’) alongside the rent-boys and exquisite still lifes, until his death from an AIDs-related illness in 1989.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Franco will star as the photographer in a movie called Mapplethorpe. Ondi Timoner (she did that great documentary We Live in Public ) will direct the Tribeca-backed project, which is expected to finish by the end of the year.

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