After working together on Paris, je t'aime (2006), Gus Van Sant and Gaspard Ulliel kept in touch, and Van Sant wanted to work with Ulliel again on another film. They didn't really know what at that time, and a few months later Van Sant came up with this idea of a film on Yves Saint Laurent. He wanted to adapt this book that was just released at that time called "Beautiful Fall" by Alicia Drake, and so he told Ulliel that he would be a great young version of Yves Saint Laurent, but the film was never made. Ulliel kept thinking that it was a shame that the film never happened, because it would have been such an amazing character to work on. Years later, Ulliel met with Bertrand Bonello for the same role.