Production company Helsinki-filmi has now announced that Dome Karukoski is now attached as director of TOM the Movie, the authorized biopic of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920–1991), the man better known as Tom of Finland.
Tom of Finland’s sexually explicit, muscular, and now-archetypal images of sailors, bikers, lumberjacks, businessmen, and beach boys were enormously influential in developing a sense of gay male identity, masculinity, and virility in the 20th century.
Murals of his leather and BDSM drawings feature prominently on many a gay bar wall; his work also appears in collections at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Fashion designers Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, and John Bartlett have all been influenced by Tom of Finland images, as have photographers Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts, and artists Freddie Mercury and the Village People.
Helsinki-filmi have secured exclusive rights to the entire archives and all images from the artist. The film is the first biopic authorized by the Tom of Finland Foundation, and it will be Karukoski’s first English-language film.
Casting is expected to be announced early 2014.
UPDATE: This post previously pointed to an unauthorized teaser trailer unrelated to this project.