For quite a long time two different biopics about Tom Of Finland have been duelling to get to the screen, but budget issues and other problems mean that both have been in development for years but haven’t actually completed shooting yet. However, now the ‘official’ one, which has the blessing of the erotic artist’s estate, is moving closer to the screen, as Deadline reports it will shoot this summer, and that the cast will be announced in the next couple of weeks at the Berlin Film Festival.
Born Touko Laaksonen, Tom Of Finland’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 in his own life. He even gained controversy over his belief that Nazi uniforms were sexy (although he didn’t like the Nazis themselves).
Finnish and Swedish director Dome Karukoski will direct the movie from a script by Aleksi Bardy. Karukowski comments, “This is the story of a man ahead of his time, bravely standing up against a world virulently against his right to be who he was – a homosexual man with homosexual fantasies. The story shows how literally one person can create change in the world, even with something as simple as an artist’s tools.”