The showrunner behind HBO series Looking is to create a new biopic based on the life of fashion icon Alexander McQueen.

The designer was one of the biggest names in British fashion, launching his powerful eponymous fashion brand Alexander McQueen.

McQueen who was openly gay, took a cocktail of drugs including cocaine before hanging himself the day before his mother’s funeral in February 2010.

He had a history of depression and anxiety and had researched how to take his own life on the internet before he died.

Six years on from his death, a biopic based on McQueen’s life – with Looking director Andrew Haigh taking the lead – is set to go into production.

Deadline reports that playwright Chris Urch, who previously optioned Andrew Wilson’s McQueen biography Blood Beneath The Skin, is writing the script for the project.

The film will chronicle the “rise and tragic fall” of McQueen, who built his way from the working class son of a taxi driver to head of a fashion empire.

At the high point of McQueen’s career, he designed iconic outfits for David Bowie – while other artists including Björk and Lady Gaga.

The film is being developed by Pathe – the same studio behind 2014’s hit film Pride.

Deadline reports that “the aim is to get the project into production by the end of the year” – though Haigh is juggling a number of other projects.

The late fashion designer was recently short-listed to appear on the UK’s next £20 note, after being nominated by members of the public.

The new note is set to come into circulation in the next few years, following a newly-chosen £10 note design featuring Jane Austen.

As the criteria call for an entrant from the world of art or fashion, some have tipped legendary designer Alexander McQueen – who founded his eponymous fashion brand – for the rare honour.