May 2, 2006

British actor to play Dutch master Rembrandt

By Ab Zagt

AMSTERDAM (Hollywood Reporter) - British actor Martin
Freeman will play Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn in
"Nightwatching," which director Peter Greenaway will begin
shooting next month, said producer Kees Kasander.

"Nightwatching" will focus on the creation of "The
Nightwatch," one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings, and the
effect it had on his private life. The women in his life will
be played by Sarah Polley (Saskia) and Minnie Driver (Geertje).
The project is closely linked with an exhibition on Rembrandt,
also titled "Nightwatching," developed by Greenaway for the
Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

The film is part of the massive celebration of the 400th
birthday of Rembrandt this year in the Netherlands. At least
1.5 million tourists are expected to visit Leiden and
Amsterdam, the cities where Rembrandt spent most of his life.

Shooting of "Nightwatching" will take place in the
Netherlands, Poland and Wales. The budget of the film is about
EUR6 million ($7.5 million). The life of Rembrandt has been
portrayed in several other films, including Alexander Korda's
1936 biopic "Rembrandt."

Freeman's credits include "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy" and "Shaun of the Dead."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter