O’Connell to play McQueen in biopic

Jack O’Connell has been cast as Alexander McQueen in a film about the high-flying fashion designer.

The actor – best known for his roles in Unbroken, 71 and the TV show Skins – will be directed by Andrew Haigh (45 Years). The film, which does not yet have a title, is being adapted from Andrew Wilson’s book Blood Beneath the Skin.

McQueen rose to fame with controversial early collections, which led to a reputation as “the hooligan of English fashion”, before he spent five years as chief designer at Givenchy.

The film will focus on McQueen’s preparations for his 2009 autumn/winter collection, Horn of Plenty, a retrospective that was inspired by his career. It would also be his penultimate collection; he killed himself in February 2010.

“In 2009, Alexander McQueen put on one of his greatest shows,” distributors Pathe said, “an extravagantly beautiful retrospective of his designs. It was a show that he dedicated to his mother and one in which he tried to make sense of his life and art.”

“The film explores McQueen’s creative process in the six months leading up to the show, the laughter that came easily with his family and friends, and the pressure that came with the relentless demands of the fashion industry. The film is a celebration of a visionary genius whose designs transcended fashion to become art.”

The biopic is expected to begin shooting in spring.

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