Ralph Fiennes' latest effort as director and actor, Rudolf Nureyev drama The White Crow, is now shooting, and the first images have arrived on the heels of news that the cast is expanding to include Olivier Rabourdin and ballet stars Anastasia Meskova, and Anna Polikarpova.

David Hare wrote the script for this one, which finds actor and dancer Oleg Ivenko (above, and seen below with Fiennes at the Russian State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg) starring as Nureyev in a story that adapts Julie Kavanagh's book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life. Rather than tackle his entire life, though, The White Crow will focus on the iconic dancer's defection from the Soviet Union in 1961 and the KGB's attempts to stop him.

Alongside the museum (Fiennes and his backers, including BBC Films, secured access, making this the first film to shoot there), have been rolling the cameras in Paris and Russia, and are headed to Croatia and Serbia to finish up production.

Fiennes is also playing Nureyev's mentor Pushkin, and has Oleg Ivenko, Sergei Polunin, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Chulpan Khamatova, Raphaël Personnaz, Calypso Valois and Louis Hofmann in the ensemble, and the rights to the movie are on sale at the Toronto International Film Festival.