As previously reported, Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland is set to begin filming in the spring. On Sunday, Karukoski held a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival to announce the principal cast.
The film, written by Aleksi Bardy, tells the life story of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, a man who would one day become known simply as Tom of Finland.
Laaksonen returned home to Helsinki a hero after an eventful military service during World War II. However, peacetime was no less distressing for him as he was persecuted for his homosexuality, forced to have secret affairs and pressured into marrying a woman.
He went on to discover liberation in his art, specialising in homoerotic drawings of muscular men in provocative poses, and developed a worldwide following that fanned the flames of gay revolution in the US.
Pekka Strang will play Touko Laaksonen, and Lauri Tilkanen has been confirmed as Veli, Tom’s partner, lover, and muse of 28 years. Jessica Grabowsky will be Tom’s sister Kaija, who loves her brother but challenges his values, while Werner Daehn will play art collector Müller.
Writer Aleksi Bardy said via Twitter: “This isn’t the story of a victim of oppression – it’s the story of a hero who survives… We chose to make it like a homosexual James Bond.”
Tom Of Finland is set to premiere 24th February 2017, and has a budget of EUR 3.8 million.