Watch The Trailer For The New Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Starring Matt Smith

The film has been 12 years in the making.

The trailer for Mapplethorpe, the long-awaited Robert Mapplethorpe biopic has arrived.

Matt Smith, of Doctor Who fame, plays the lead role, and newcomer Marianne Rendón plays Mapplethorpe's close friend and collaborator Patti Smith, after Zosia Mamet, who had been given the role, was forced to step aside due to scheduling conflicts.

Leee Black Childers/Redferns

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Robert MAPPLETHORPE (Photo by Leee Black Childers/Redferns)

Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 at the age of 42, due to complications from HIV/AIDS, was one of the most prominent and still-celebrated photographers of his generation.

Director Ondi Timoner, who has been working on the project for over 12 years, (Dig!, We Live in Public) told NewNowNext the actors found "the essence" of who they were portraying, adding, "they all surpassed what I thought we could have."

Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images

American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 - 1989) at an exhibition opening at the Robert Miller Gallery, New York City, USA, May 1987. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

The trailer sees Smith, as Mapplethorpe, talking about the reactions to his sometimes controversial art, which often explored themes of unabashed homoerotic and kink.

"I take out my portfolio and I show them the bullwhip up my ass. If they blink, or they look away, then they just can't handle it because they're not so fucking cutting edge after all," he says, before photographing a friend with his penis in a champagne glass.

The trailer also doubles as an effort to raise funds through an Indiegogo campaign to help cover the costs of post-production for the film, which played last month at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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