Willem Dafoe is set to star as artist Vincent van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s upcoming biopic chronicling the later years of the famous Dutch painter. At Eternity’s Gate will focus specifically on van Gogh’s time spent in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, France, which means that, yes, it probably include the infamous ear-chopping incident that followed a confrontation with Gauguin in 1888. The film takes its title from an oil painting by Van Gogh in 1890, finished just months before his death.
Schnabel might just be the perfect director for the project. For starters, he knows his way around a biopic: He guided Javier Bardem to an Oscar nomination as Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls, and he won both a Golden Globe and the 2007 Cannes best director award himself for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on the memoir of French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. But what makes Schnabel uniquely qualified is that he is also a painter in his own right, perhaps best known for his work with ceramics.
Van Gogh is also the subject of another upcoming film, Loving Vincent, which is notable for having been animated fully from oil paintings.