Filming gets underway shortly of the latest biopic of artist Touko Laaksonen, the man who would one day become known simply as Tom of Finland.
With a budget of EUR 3.8 million, it’s the latest project of Finnish-Swedish film director, Dome Karukoski. With a screenplay written by Finnish screenwriter and producer Aleksi Bardy, the film tells the story of Laaksonen who returns home to Helsinki a hero after a harrowing military service in World War II.
Persecuted for being gay, trapped in secret affairs and pressured into getting married to a woman, Laaksonen discovers refuge and liberation in his art, specializing in the homoerotic drawings that we’re all familiar with of muscular men with exaggerated physical features in sexually uninhibited poses.
These iconic images quickly developed a worldwide following and helped fan the flames of a gay revolution in America. The cast of the new film was announced last month during the Berlin Film Festival.
Pekka Strang will play Touko Laaksonen and Lauri Tilkanen has been confirmed as Veli, Tom’s partner, lover, and muse of 28 years. Speaking on Twitter, Aleksi Bardy said, “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 in February 2017.