Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights to the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, directed by the magician Teller, of Penn & Teller fame.
The doc is produced by Farley Ziegler and Teller’s stage partner Penn Jillette, and follows Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, as he attempts to solve the mystery of how 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer managed to paint photo-realistic works such as Girl with a Pearl Earring, some 150 years before the invention of photography.
Jenison’s adventure – which spans a decade – takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces; to the North coast of Yorkshire in England, to meet artist David Hockney; and eventually to Buckingham Palace, to see the British Queen’s own Vermeer painting.
The doc’s crew includes composer Conrad Pope (My Week with Marilyn), post-production sound supervisor Larry Blake (Behind the Candelabra), editor Patrick Sheffield and director of photography Shane F. Kelly (A Scanner Darkly). Sony will release the film next year.
In a statement, Jillette said: “My buddy, Tim Jenison, told me over supper he was going to try to paint a Vermeer. Tim is a genius, but I’m a skeptic. I wanted to see him do it.
“Having Sony Pictures Classics as the first words on the screen means it’s more than just a couple of Vegas magicians and an eccentric inventor in his garage – now, it’s a real film that will change the history of art.”