Andrew Haigh Casts Jack O’Connell as Alexander McQueen for His Upcoming Biopic

A while back, when it was first announced that an Alexander McQueen biopic was happening, I did a bit of dream-casting of people who were presences in McQueen’s life — and of McQueen himself — for Flavorwire. With the new announcement of the lead for the film, presumably bit by bit those dreams — and perhaps your own — will become obsolete as news of supporting cast members is announced in the coming months. And it turns out — surprise! — real-life filmmaker Andrew Haigh (who most recently directed the Looking movie, and prior to that, the stunning 45 Years) is perhaps better at casting than me, fake-life filmmaker. For the pick for Alexander McQueen is pretty perfect; Haigh has cast Jack O’Connell, according to Variety. 

O’Connell most recently starred in two films that were tepidly received — Jodie Foster’s Occupy-era Hollywood thriller Money Monster and Angelina Jolie’s Coen Bros.-penned Unbroken, for which O’Connell was lauded for his performance, despite critics’ issues with the film itself; he was fantastic in Starred Up, where he played a violent teenager who lands in the same prison as his father.

The film, whose script was written playwright Chris Urch, using Andrew Wilson’s McQueen biography Blood Beneath the Skin as its source material, will be shooting next spring, with the aim of opening towards the end of 2017.

Much like the just-announced Nico biopic, this film will focus on McQueen towards the end of his life. (The film takes place in 2009, and McQueen committed suicide in 2010 at 40, nine days after his mother’s death from cancer.)

Haigh’s portrait of McQueen will center, according to a statement from Pathé (the distributor for the film in the U.K., France and Switzerland, who’s also overseeing sales throughout the world), around a show he put together in 2009 — “a stunningly beautiful re-working of his greatest designs from the past 15 years. It was a show that he dedicated to his mother and one in which he tried to make sense of his life and art. The film explores McQueen’s creative process in the months leading up to the 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.”