St. Vincent Will Direct a New Version of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’

Annie Clark's version of the classic Oscar Wilde novel will star a woman in the title role.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Lots of musicians eventually make the leap from the stage to the screen, but usually they don’t leapfrog right to the director’s chair. But then again, Annie Clark – better known to many of her fans as St. Vincent – has always been one of the most artistically ambitious musicians of her generation.

The singer/songwriter, whose self-titled album “St. Vincent” won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2015, is now set to direct a feature film adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the only novel that famed playwright Oscar Wilde ever published. It was the story of a wicked man who did not age, but who did have a portrait of himself tucked away in the attic, experiencing the ravages of time and the repercussions for his sins.

St. Vincent’s version will switch the gender of Dorian Gray, and star a woman in the title role. Lionsgate will release the picture, which will be written by David Burke (Elle). Variety broke the original story.

Also: Interview | Annie Clark, ‘XX’ and the Significance of the Toilet Costume

Although The Picture of Dorian Gray will be the first feature film directed by Annie Clark, fans of St. Vincent can already see her directorial vision in the horror anthology XX. Her segment, Birthday Party, tells the story of an anxious housewife who, when her husband dies unexpectedly, decides to hide the body rather than ruin her daughter’s special day. The film also features segments by Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound) and Jovanka Vuckovic (Self Portrait).

The Picture of Dorian Gray has been adapted into many movies over the years, including an Academy Award-winning version in 1945, which starred Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders and Angela Lansbury. The character also appeared in the recent Showtime supernatural series Penny Dreadful, played by Reeve Carney (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark).

Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on Canceled Too Soon and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.