Tulip FeverWhat the hell is Tulip Fever? Well, it's a Dreamworks/Ruby Films flick based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Deborah Moggach (the rights to the book were acquired five years ago, before it was even completed). The story is one of those grandly romantic period pieces that audiences tend to love, even when Colin Firth isn't in them. Set in 17th century Amsterdam, the book tells the story of a married woman's affair with a portrait-painter. Somehow, the pair's efforts to break free of the woman's husband land them smack in the middle of the "booming market for tulip bulbs, with unexpected consequences." Yeah, I know. But hey, let's give them a chance.

What's best-known about Tulip Fever, however, isn't its botanical plot - instead, it's the film's problems with financing. Production was literally hours away from starting (fake canals had been created, bulbs had been planted) early last year when the British government closed a key tax loophole, thus depriving the movie of the great majority of its funding. As a result, the production was put on hold, the director left, and rumored co-stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley were lost.

The good news is that the movie is back, albeit with a much smaller budget and a new, cheaper Eastern European location. There's no word on casting, though it's unlikely the production will now be able to afford any of the names that were previously connected with the project. The new director is the occasionallybrilliant, totally overlooked Peter Chelsom, which is encouraging, at least to me. (Depressingly, The Guardian describes him as "best known for directing American romantic comedies such as Shall We Dance." OUCH.) No details yet on a start date - it'll be interesting to see if this actually gets made after such a horrible non-beginning.
categories Movies, Cinematical