SEEING DOUBLE: German actor Daniel Brühl will play Karl Lagerfeld in an upcoming miniseries focused on the German designer’s rise in the excess-fueled 1970s and his infamous rivalry with Yves Saint Laurent.
“Kaiser Karl,” a coproduction between streaming service Disney+ and French production and distribution company Gaumont, is based on the biography of the same name by French journalist Raphaëlle Bacqué published in 2019.
Brühl, known for his roles in “Inglourious Basterds,” “Good Bye Lenin!” and “Woman in Gold,” will be gearing up for the role even as Jared Leto prepares to play the German designer in a feature film backed by the Karl Lagerfeld fashion house.
The situation recalls the rival biopics of Saint Laurent which came out in 2014. Saint Laurent’s business partner Pierre Bergé at the time endorsed a version starring Pierre Niney as Saint Laurent, while a second unauthorized version featured Gaspard Ulliel.
Disney+ initially announced plans for its six-part series in 2021 and unveiled the full cast on Thursday.
Canadian actor Théodore Pellerin will play Jacques de Bascher, the decadent dandy who was Lagerfeld’s partner for close to two decades and ignited his feud with Saint Laurent through his involvement with both men.
French actor Arnaud Valois has been cast as Saint Laurent, while French actor, comedian and director Alex Lutz will take on the role of Bergé. French actress, screenwriter, director and singer Agnès Jaoui will play Gaby Aghion, who helped Lagerfeld’s career by hiring him as creative director of Chloé.
Among the supporting roles, Jeanne Damas, the founder of clothing label Rouje, will play Paloma Picasso, while Swiss actress Sunnyi Melles has been cast as Marlene Dietrich. Belgian singer and artist Claire Laffut is set to feature as Loulou de la Falaise, and Franco-American actor Paul Spera will tackle Andy Warhol.
The production, currently shooting in France, Monaco and Italy, will feature an estimated 3,000 costumes, 160 of which will be created by its sewing studios.
Pascaline Chavanne, who has won two César awards for costume design, has been tasked with creating the outfits for the series set against the backdrop of luxurious apartments, fashion shows, iconic party venues and couture houses.