‘Rothko’: Russell Crowe To Play Expressionist Painter In Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Legal Drama

Russell Crowe had one of the biggest hits of the pandemic era with his thriller, Unhinged, and now he’s landed on what’s coming next. Rocket Science has announced that Crowe will play renowned Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko in a biopic from director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Crowe will head up the Rothko cast, a starry group that includes Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale), Michael Stuhlbarg (Shirley), Jared Harris (Mad Men), the director’s husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, most-recently seen in Tenet. The film centers on Kate Rothko and the legal battles to prevent her father’s legacy of work from falling into the hands of a corrupt elite.

The film was written by Lara Woods. Taylor-Johnson is probably best known for directing Fifty Shades of Grey, before walking out on the franchise due to disagreements with author E.L. James. She also helmed 2009’s Nowhere Boy, which is where she met her future husband, and 2018’s James Frey adaptation A Million Little Pieces.

Crowe was recently seen as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s series The Loudest Voice. He’ll be seen next in horror The Georgetown Project.

Filming on Rothko begins this summer.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.