The Lost Leonardo: Julianne Moore To Star In Drama About Salvator Mundi

Julianne Moore, the Academy Award-winning actor, is set to star and executive produce a new television adaptation of the 2021 documentary 'The Lost Leonardo.

Julianne Moore, the Academy Award-winning actor, will star and executive produce a new television adaptation of the 2021 documentary ‘The Lost Leonardo.’ In this series, she steps into the shoes of art restorer Dianne Modestini. The original documentary, which gripped the viewer, traces the intriguing journey of the Salvator Mundi—a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that made history as the most expensive artwork ever sold, fetching $450 million at Christie’s New York in 2017.

The buyer of the painting, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, maintained a veil of secrecy, adding a layer of intrigue to the Salvator Mundi’s journey. Despite Christie’s initial announcement that the painting would be showcased at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, it has not been publicly seen since its record-breaking sale. Speculation about its potential inclusion in the Musée du Louvre’s Leonardo retrospective in 2019 was rife, but the painting never materialised, leaving its current location a subject of intense curiosity.

Amidst the sensational disappearance, the Salvator Mundi is enshrouded in a web of controversy, particularly regarding its origin and restoration. The question of whether the painting is truly by Leonardo da Vinci is a matter of heated debate. This uncertainty is a part of the ongoing aftermath in the art world, as highlighted by a recent legal battle involving Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and Sotheby’s, where Rybolovlev accused the auction house of fraud in connection with his acquisition of the painting through Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier.

Moore, known for her meticulous character work, was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in ‘May December,’ a film loosely inspired by the controversial figure Mary Kay Letourneau. The new Salvator Mundi series is being developed by a stellar team, including Studiocanal, The Picture Company, Entertainment 360, and Zaftig Films, with John Requa and Glenn Ficarra at the helm as directors.

In addition to this production team, Gillian Weeks will pen the script. The series promises to delve deep into the dramatic twists and turns of the Salvator Mundi’s history. Discovered at an estate sale in Louisiana in 2005 by shrewd art dealers who bought it for a mere $1,000, the painting’s transformation after being restored and authenticated as a Leonardo da Vinci by Modestini is nothing short of astonishing.

“The Lost Leonardo” documentary, directed by Andreas Koefoed, chronicles the painting’s dramatic journey through the murky waters of the international art market. The television adaptation will further explore whether this artwork represents the greatest art find of our time or a monumental scam that spiralled out of control. As the narrative unfolds, viewers will be drawn into the high-stakes world of art, money, and power, with Moore’s portrayal of Modestini bringing a human element to this arcane story.

Top Photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Julianne Moore by David Shankbone

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