Ezra Miller and Ben Kingsley are two sides of the same Dalí.
Both actors transform into artist Salvador Dalí for Magnolia Pictures’ “Dalíland,” directed by Mary Harron (“American Psycho,” “I Shot Andy Warhol”).
The film focuses on Salvador Dalí, one of the most world-renowned artists of the 20th century, and centers on the later years of the strange and fascinating marriage between Dalí and his wife, Gala (Barbara Sukowa), as their seemingly unshakable bond begins to stress and fracture, per an official synopsis. Set in New York and Spain in 1974, the film is told through the eyes of James (Christopher Briney), a young assistant keen to make his name in the art world, who helps the eccentric and mercurial Dalí prepare for a big gallery show. “Daisy Jones & the Six” breakout Suki Waterhouse, Andreja Pejic, and Rupert Graves also star.
“Dalíland” debuted closing night at 2022 TIFF and is produced by Daniel Brunt, Chris Curling, Edward R. Pressman, Sam Pressman, and David O. Sacks.
Director Harron addressed the controversies surrounding actor Miller. The non-binary star who uses they/them pronouns was arrested on felony charges for trespassing; allegations of Miller choking a woman and running a “cult-like” community for teens have also been made public. Miller apologized and announced they were seeking mental health treatment.
Harron shared that Miller was on her mind for over a decade to star as a young Dalí.
“At that point, the producers and everyone were saying, ‘Well, you can’t cast them because they’re not a big enough star,’” Harron told Vanity Fair. “And then a year later they were too big a star and had to drop out because they got ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ and then later got ‘The Flash.’”
Harron added, “They stayed very loyal to the project for years, even when other people dropped out right and left because of schedule changes and the pandemic.”
As for the accusations against Miller, Harron said, “They were very professional and nice to everybody. There was no trouble or a sign of trouble on set. So it was very upsetting and terrible to read what happened later. Reading this stuff was very sad — very sad for everybody involved. Hopefully they are getting help for what sounds like a very, very serious break.”
“Dalíland” premieres June 9 in select theaters and VOD.
Check out the trailer below.