Julien Temple faking it for art forgery film

Wed Nov 4, 2009 11:27pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Director Julien Temple, who shot the Sex Pistols faux-documentary "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle," is hatching another scheme.

The British filmmaker will take on the story of art faker Elmyr de Hory, who created and sold forgeries of paintings by the likes of Picasso and Matisse to collectors around the world between the 1940s and 1960s.

De Hory, a Hungarian native, told his story to the equally notorious hoax biographer Clifford Irving (played by Richard Gere in "The Hoax" in 2007) for the book "Fake!" Additionally, Orson Welles made a documentary about him, "F For Fake."

Temple hopes to shoot his movie -- also called "Fake!" -- next spring in Spain, France and Croatia.

"Fake!" details the complex emotional triangle among de Hory, Irving and Welles.

Temple said: "There's an element of 'To Catch a Thief' about what they do. As becomes clear in his conversations with Welles, one of the most amazing illusions Elmyr maintained during all the years of his career as an art forger was that he was not a criminal and what he was doing was not a crime. He knew of course it was against the law but so was jaywalking or smoking a joint. What he did, unlike governments and politicians, didn't harm anyone else."

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