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Everything we know about the ‘Black Mozart’ biopic, the story of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

The swordsman with an incredible aptitude for composing, Chevalier de Saint-Georges will be brought to life in a new biopic produced by Searchlight Pictures

'Black Mozart' biopic, the story of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

A new film about the inimitable Baroque composer, violinist and fencer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges is coming soon, in a new production from Searchlight Pictures.

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The Baroque composer and violinist Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges has been hailed as the ‘Black Mozart’, a nickname that has often attracted controversy. Although the two were contemporaries and knew one another, there’s little to suggest that Bologne remained in Mozart‘s shadow for too long – and in several instances, it appears that Mozart may have borrowed Bologne’s material in some of his own writing.

Born in Guadeloupe to a French colonial plantation owner and a young Senegalese slave, Bologne was taken to Paris at a young age to gain an education. His fencing skills helped advance him up the social ladders, and he later assumed the title Chevalier de Saint-Georges. As well as an aptitude for swordsmanship, Bologne was a skilled composer and violinist.

‘Like Vivaldi or Paganini, Bologne was a composer-executant par excellence who knew his instrument inside out – and, fencer to his fingertips, was fearless, lunging ever higher into a stratosphere never attempted by Mozart,’ wrote Paul Riley for BBC Music Magazine. 

Who is the directorial team behind the new Chevalier de Saint-Georges biopic?

The biopic will be the feature screenwriting debut from Stefani Robinson, the writer of TV shows Atlanta and What We Do in the Shadows, both of which she received Emmy nominations for. She is the first black woman in Emmy history to be recognised for multiple nominations in both the Outstanding Comedy category and in Comedy Writing.

The project will be directed by Jamaican-Canadian director Stephen Williams, who was behind the recent hit TV series Watchmen, The Walking Dead and Westworld. He was also a co-executive producer on the ABC series Lost. 

The film will be funded and distributed by Searchlight Pictures, which is owned by Disney.

Who’s starring in the Chevalier de Saint-Georges biopic?

No cast members have been confirmed for the film.

What is the name of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges biopic?

A name is yet to be announced for the film about the life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. In the directorial team’s exclusive reveal on Variety, the film was referred to as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, but it is not yet clear whether this is the official title of the production.

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When will Joseph Bologne’s biopic be released?

Although it was originally planned for release in 2021, there has been no update from Searchlight Pictures on this. There is currently no confirmed release date for the film.