Back in April, a preview trailer for a Tom Of Finland biopic, called TOM, was released, which directors Vesa Kuosmanen & Henri Huttunen made to drum up interest in the film they are planning to shoot next year. Now they have some competition, as Variety reports that another Finnish helmer, Dome Karukoski, is also planning a movie about the homoerotic artist.
Karukoski is currently promoting his latest movie, Heart of a Lion, which just premiered at TIFF, and has used the opportunity to announce his next movie. The Tom Of Finland movie will mark his English-language debut, and unlike the rival movie, this will be an authorised biopic, as a deal has been done with the artist’s estate.
Born Touko Laaksonen, the illustrator’s stylised images of hunky men with massive bulges, often wearing leather and/or uniforms, became iconic in the gay community. His popularity was initially helped by the fact that while many countries in the 1950s and 1960s saw photographs of naked and near-naked men as pornography, drawn pictures were classed as art and so Tom Of Finland’s images became extremely popular.
His stature has grown over the years to the point where the likes of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) hold his images.
And to ensure a film will be worth watching, leather and fetish weren’t just things he drew, they were something he was drawn to. He even gained controversy over his belief that Nazi uniforms were sexy (although he didn’t like the Nazis themselves).
Producer Aleksi Bardy commented, “It’s impossible to overstate the impact Tom’s work has had on the image and self-image of gay men all over the world. He created the archetypes that now form an integral part of the iconography of popular culture, both gay and straight.”
Casting will start early next year, and it’ll certainly be interesting to see who takes on the lead role (and also whether the Finnish-language TOM still gets made)
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