Whether or not they’re wholly truthful, Derek Jarman’s “Caravaggio” and Robert Altman’s “Vincent and Theo” are at least faithful to the stories of the artists they portray—delivering the tone, the feeling of those real lives if not their exact details. Wonderful and effective as they are, these and other films following the histories of these great painters do lack a few things you might want out of a biopic that also happen to be absent in the biographical walking tours through the footsteps of Caravaggio, Goya, Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Munch provided in our “Art + Travel Europe: Step into the Lives of Five Famous Painters”—chase sequences, arch villains, massive explosions. A new movie featuring the greatest hero of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, however, will be serving up hot, violent action along with what we must imagine will be a faithful portrait of the tough-as-nails, gun-slinging badass who created the “Mona Lisa”.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that a certain Adrian Askarieh, the producer of the video-game inspired “Hitman”, is in development on a film titled “Leonardo da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever” which we’re guessing is going to be a sort of “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” set in the latter half of the 15th Century when the natural scientist and painter still had bugling biceps and rock-hard abs. As you may know, da Vinci was noted for proposing or designing many super-agent-style inventions and gadgets centuries ahead of their time—the helicopter, the parachute, the sun-powered ray gun. All these innovations an more will most likely be on display as da Vinci does battle with secret societies and “Biblical demons”. Previous films like “The Da Vinci Code” and “Hudson Hawk” have established da Vinci as an international man of mystery, so it’s not all that far a leap into the action genre. While no director, writer, or actor is attached to the project as of yet, we’re putting our money on Ryan Gosling to play the titular, bearded hero with perhaps Rachel Bilson or Kate Bosworth to play da Vinci’s love interest—that special dark-haired lady with the mysterious smile. Finally, art history is gonna rock!