WEB DESK: The writer of 2000 hit films, David Franzoni is recently working on his new venture. The upcoming venture of the writer of super hit film “Gladiator” will focus on the life of a 13th century Sufi poet, Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi.
This venture will be produced by Stephen Joel Brown of Y Productions, who also made Se7en, The Fugitive and the Devil’s Advocate.
The director and the producer, Franzoni and Brown, both are considering Leonardo DiCaprio as Rumi and strongly feel that this will break all stereotypes regarding the portrayal of Muslim characters in western cinema.
Jalaluddin Rumi is a Persian poet whose work is widely read not only in the United States but across the world. His poetry has been translated into several languages due to its intrinsic artistic worth.
Rumi was also deeply associated with the mystical Shams of Tabrez, who was his crony and someone who was often a source of Rumi’s inspiration. Tabrez’s murder left Rumi in a great state of despair and as a result, a lot of Rumi’s poetry reflects the love of his companion.
Rumi holds the credit of penning epic creations such as Masnavi and Deewan.
According to The Guardian, Franzoni said about Rumi, “He’s like Shakespeare. He’s a character who has enormous talent and worth to his society and his people, and obviously resonates today. Those people are always worth exploring.”
He further exclaimed, “It’s a very exciting project – and obviously challenging. There are a lot of reasons we’re making a product like this right now. I think it’s a world that needs to be spoken to; Rumi is hugely popular in the United States. I think it gives him a face and a story.”
Besides Leo as Rumi, Franzoni and Brown wanted to cast Robert Downey Jr as Shams of Tabrez.
However, they also believe it is too early to decide the cast and finalize names this early. Plus the news about Leo playing Rumi has already created quite a stir and many have shown their resistance to the idea.
Currently, Franzoni and the producer have started their research on Rumi’s life by visiting his birthplace and meeting all the experts who know about Rumi and Sufism.
The film will go on floors next year.