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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Malkovich to portray artist Klimt
John Malkovich
John Malkovich is known for playing quirky characters
Hollywood actor John Malkovich is to play the part of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt in a film about the artist's turbulent life.

He will lead a cast including French actress Laetitia Casta and German stars Veronica Ferres and Otto Sander, the film's German financiers said.

The Art Nouveau painter, best known for his images of beautiful women, founded the Vienna Secession movement in 1897.

The biopic will be directed by prolific Chilean film-maker Raoul Ruiz.

Born in 1862, Klimt became a leading figure in the Art Nouveau movement - which rebelled against the traditional academic art world - though his style remained unique.

The Austrian painter became a target of fierce criticism and censorship during his lifetime for his starkly erotic painting.

John Malkovich recently finished filming The Libertine in the Isle of Man, in which he played King Charles II to Johnny Depp's Rochester.

He will next be seen in cinemas in Colour Me Kubrick, based on a real life story about a conman who posed as reclusive film director Stanley Kubrick.

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