The 20 Year Odyssey of Tulip Fever As Told By Its Writer, Deborah Moggach

Tulip Fever is getting lots of advance praise for it’s period details, steamy eroticism, and big-hearted dramatic love story. The movie, starring Alicia Vikander, looks to be a sure-fire arthouse hit that transcends the intimate confines of fringe appeal and makes its way into the theaters and hearts of film-goers across the globe.

Tulip Fever had an an interesting genesis in its evolution from screenplay to release this week. The screenwriter and author Deborah Moggach recently detailed some of the travails involved in getting the film produced after 20 long years of waiting:

The moment I’d finished writing my novel Tulip Fever the phone rang. It was Steven Spielberg, speaking from his car. Within days he’d snapped up the movie rights for his DreamWorks SKG and I was flying to Hollywood for a script meeting. My great adventure had begun.

Events moved fast and soon the movie was in pre-production. It was to be a $48 million film, the biggest U.K. film of the year. Tanks were sunk to create the canals of Amsterdam, sets were built, the stars assembled — Natalie Portman, Jim Broadbent and Jude Law — and John Madden was set to direct. Twelve thousand tulips were planted, for their roles in the drama. It was thrilling beyond belief.

And then, a few days before it was due to start shooting, the British Chancellor, Gordon Brown, suddenly closed a tax loophole for funding movies and the film collapsed. Scores of talented people lost their jobs. The only survivors were some of those 12,000 tulips, which I gave to my neighbors in London. They planted them in their gardens and each spring I watched my horticultural cast burst into bloom — a bittersweet sight.

You can read the full story in her Hollywood Reporter article. 

Here is the official Preview:

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