Frank Lloyd Wright murder movie “Taliesin” with Brad Pitt speculation?
Alistair McLean
Category: Books

Alistair: Posted on Sunday, 18 December 2011 11:54 PM



Secret Design Studio is quietly pleased that Hollywood is looking towards Australian director, Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Breaker Morant, Mao’s Last Dancer) to develop and direct a movie surrounding the tragedy of the Taliesin murders. Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress, her two children, and four others were brutally murdered in his compound, called “Taliesin”,  while he was away in Chicago.

With Beresford’s fantastic track record of authentic period productions we can look forward to seeing the wonderful interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin on the big screen. This should increase the awareness of the importance of 20th century architecture, as well as the influence Frank Lloyd Wright had on many 20th century architects, and even in the way houses are designed today.

While it would be stretching the truth to say that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin could be classified as mid-century modern, as it is early 20th century, his original designs and his use of open-plan living influenced many architects throughout the 20th century.

Secret Design Studio hopes that Beresford can make the sets as authentic as possible from the original documentation.  The photos here show Taliesin today, however it was first rebuilt by Frank Lloyd Wright after the fire that was started by the murderer in 1914.  It was destroyed a second time by fire in 1925, possibly by an electrical fault, so the building now standing is Taliesin version III.


Quoting from the Hollywood Reporter:

“Producers J. Todd Harris and Ed Bachrach are behind the film, about the fabled American architect, which was written by Nicholas Meyer. Veteran filmmaker Bruce Beresford has signed on to develop and direct Taliesin, a film about fabled American architect Frank Lloyd Wright from writer Nicholas Meyer. 

The title refers to the architect’s former home and studio in rural Spring Green, Wis., where the key events in the film take place. The rambling hillside compound, considered a masterpiece of Prairie-style architecture, was the focus of scandal as Wright built it for himself and his married mistress Martha “Mamah” Cheney. In 1914, while Wright was away, a domestic worker murdered Cheney, her two children and four others by locking them inside and setting fire to the building.

“It’s a very good script,” Beresford told The Hollywood Reporter. “It doesn’t cover his whole life, just a small section of it, and it doesn’t whitewash him into some sort of saint.” Beresford, who directed the best picture Oscar winner Driving Miss Daisy (1990) and was nominated for best director forTender Mercies (1983), says he sparked to telling the tale of the private life of one of the greatest architects ever. 

“There’s a documentary by Ken Burns [the 1998 film, Frank Lloyd Wright] that’s quite good, but it’s odd that there’s never been a [feature] film about him,” Beresford said.Producers J. Todd Harris, of Branded Pictures Entertainment, and Chicago-based Ed Bachrach, of Kartemquin Films, sent Beresford the script. They are currently raising money for the project, and Beresford has recently been scouting locations in and around Chicago. Who would Beresford like to play the lead? “We have someone in mind, but I can’t tell you yet,” he says.”