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Who Wants to See If Matt Smith Can Pull Off an American Accent?

Samuel Goldwyn Films on Tuesday announced that they secured the rights to Matt Smith’s Robert Mapplethorpe biopic — appropriately titled Mapplethorpe.

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In the late 1960s, American Robert Mapplethorpe shot to stardom behind a series of racy black-and-white photographs that depicted an unfiltered look at New York City’s underground bondage scene. Over the next two decades, Mapplethorpe continued to challenge and provoke his audiences. His subject matter ranged from flowers to nudes to celebrity portraits. Mapplethorpe also developed a reputation for the bawdy behavior that went down in his studio. The renowned photographer passed away from complications of HIV in 1989.

Mapplethorpe comes from director Ondi Timoner, a director primarily known for documentary work. She’s one of just a handful of people who have taken home Sundance’s coveted Jury Prize twice.

Of course, when Mapplethorpe finally shows up in theaters, the real pressure will be on the star, super-Brit Matt Smith. Though Smith has proven himself a charming and capable actor in popular productions like Doctor Who and Netflix’s The Crown, the actor has yet to tackle a high profile role in which he plays an American.

To date, the only time the actor has flexed his American accent is in jokey forms intended to downplay the quality. In Mapplethorpe, however, he’ll be forced to play it straight. We’ll find out if the Doctor is up to the task when Mapplethorpe hits theaters later this year.

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