Entertainment & Arts

Dame Helen Mirren to star in stolen art film Woman in Gold

Helen Mirren Image copyright AP
Image caption Dame Helen Mirren was honoured with the outstanding contribution award at this year's Baftas

Dame Helen Mirren will play real-life Jewish WWII survivor Maria Altmann, who fought the Austrian government over Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family, in a new film Woman in Gold,

The film will be produced by The Weinstein Company and directed by My Week with Marilyn's Simon Curtis.

Ryan Reynolds and Rush star Daniel Bruhl are in talks to join Dame Helen, according to Deadline Hollywood.

The Woman In Gold refers to a portrait by Klimt, depicting Altmann's Aunt.

The 1907 painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer was was one of five Klimt pieces returned to Altmann in 2006, after a US court ordered the Austrian Gallery in Vienna to hand them back.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The film takes its name from a portrait of Altmann's aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ryan Reynolds (left) and Daniel Bruhl are reported to be joining Dame Helen in the film

During World War II, the paintings were taken, by the Nazis, from Altmann's uncle Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a former sugar factory owner.

It is thought the film will see Reynolds playing the lawyer who took Altmann's case on in Los Angeles, while Bruhl would play the lawyer opposing him.

Andrew Garfield has also been rumoured for a role in the film, which is currently in pre-production.

The issue of art stolen by the Nazis was recently brought to the big screen by George Clooney in his latest film The Monuments Men.

It failed to impress critics, despite an all-star cast including Matt Damon and Bill Murray.

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