Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson is a 21st Century sex symbol. James Dean was a 1950s sex symbol. But Pattinson isn’t going to be playing Dean in a biopic by Control director Anton Corbijn. Instead he’s going to play Dean’s traveling companion, photographer Dennis Stock who died in 2010. Stock took this iconic photo of Dean in Times Square for Life magazine in 1955, the same year the actor died in a car accident.
The film Life takes its name from the magazine, and will track an important portion of Dean’s biography. Stock was assigned to photograph Dean just before his breakout performance in East of Eden, and the two became friends on a cross-country trip.
Dean will be played by Chronicle star Dane DeHaan. DeHaan has a role in the six-degrees-of-James-Franco pattern that is poised to eclipse the Kevin Bacon game. Franco preceded DeHaan in his Dean portrayal, and also in the portrayal of fictional Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a character also played by Franco opposite Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man.
Life will shoot early next year.