Entertainment & Arts

Gerard Depardieu to play Josef Stalin in new movie

Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu Image copyright AFP
Image caption The film, Le divan de Staline, (Stalin's Sofa), is to be directed by actress Fanny Ardant, pictured with Depardieu

French actor Gerard Depardieu is to play Russian dictator Josef Stalin in a new film, according to reports.

He will star in the project, translated as Stalin's Sofa, which will be directed by actress Fanny Ardant, said The Hollywood Reporter.

The film is based on French author Jean-Daniel Baltassat's 2013 novel.

Depardieu was presented with a Russian passport by Vladimir Putin in 2013 after moving to avoid higher taxes in his native France.

Mr Depardieu's move to Russia came after he criticised French President Francois Hollande's plans to raise taxes to 75% for those earning more than 1m euros (£817,400).

The actor accused the government of punishing "success, creation and talent".

In 2011, he played the lead role in the film Rasputin, a Franco-Russian production about the life of eccentric monk.

He also recently announced a movie about WW2 French fighter aces who flew alongside Red Air Force pilots over the Eastern Front.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stalin (right) was the Soviet leader for a quarter of a century

Josef Stalin, the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for more than 25 years, helped the allies defeat Nazism.

But his regime of terror caused the death and suffering of tens of millions.

The new movie, to be produced by French/Portuguese company Leopardo Filmes, is to be set in the 1950s Soviet Union and will centre on a young artist commissioned to create Stalin's monument.

Related Topics

More on this story