The first full trailer has been released for the upcoming biopic Mapplethorpe.
Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) stars as provocative and influential gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 from AIDS-related complications.
Mapplethorpe notoriously challenged the art world in the ’70s and ’80s, scandalizing political conservatives with his striking images of the naked male body and S&M scenes.
Mapplethorpe, directed by Ondi Timoner, debuted earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“The film explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic,” according to an official synopsis from Samuel Goldwyn. “Mapplethorpe’s work displayed eroticism in a way that had never been examined nor displayed before to the public. The film explores the intersection of his art and his sexuality along with his struggle for mainstream recognition.”
“In church I found God,” Smith’s Mapplethorpe says in the trailer, which shows him in bed with out co-star John Benjamin Hickey. “And then Polaroid led me straight to the devil.”
“Just investigating that moment in time, it certainly made me reflect on being a homosexual in the ’70s in New York and the way they were treated for a disease that was completely misunderstood,” Smith tells EW. “He died so young and if he were around now, then he’d live out the whole of his life and still be a brilliant, prolific artist I’m sure.”
The film also stars Marianne Rendón, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Sklenar, McKinley Belcher III, and Kerry Butler.
Mapplethorpe is in theaters March 1, 2019.