A gay love affair between two of Spain’s most celebrated creative luminaries, painter Salvador Dali and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, will be depicted in the new film, Little Ashes.

Named after a Dali painting, the film chronicles the 18-year-old Dali’s arrival in Madrid in the 1920s and his subsequent friendship with the dramatist Lorca.

As the relationship between the two intensifies, the sexually repressed artist is unable to consummate the affair and instead watches as Lorca sleeps with a female friend.

This interpretation of events, by British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, has already sparked controversy among historians and biographers, many of whom deny that the pair’s relationship was anything but platonic.

Although their intimacy has been alleged, Dali repeatedly told interviewers that he rejected Lorca’s attempts to seduce him.

“He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me,” said Dali in an interview with French surrealist poet Alain Bosquet in 1969.

“He tried to screw me twice. I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn’t homosexual, and I wasn’t interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it.

“But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dali’s asshole.”

Goslett is nevertheless positive that their relationship did take a sexual turn.

“Having done a huge amount of research, it’s clear something happened, no question,” she said.

Ian Gibson, a biographer of both Dali and Lorca is, however, sceptical.

“It depends how you define as affair,” he said.

“He [Dali] was terrified of being touched by anyone, so I don’t think Lorca got far.”

The moustachioed eccentric will be portrayed by Robert Pattison, the 21-year-old actor who played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films, while Lorca will be played by Spanish actor Javier Beltran.