Delayed film release is ‘beyond maddening’ says Tulip Fever writer Deborah Moggach

Celebrated British writer Deborah Moggach has described numerous delays holding up a release for the film adaptation of her popular novel Tulip Fever as ‘beyond maddening’.

Despite having Sir Tom Stoppard as its writer, and Oscar winners: Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz and Dame Judi Dench among its cast, the long-awaited Tulip Fever film has still no UK release date.

Set in Amsterdam, Tulip Fever revolves around city’s real-life ‘tulip mania’ of the early 17th Century, telling the fictional tale of a married woman (Vikander) and her love affair with the artist (Dane DeHaan) employed by her older husband (Waltz) to paint her portrait.

‘We cannot get answers from anyone,’ says Moggach of the delays. ‘We just can’t find out and it’s very frustrating’.

 The film is being distributed by The Weinstein Company, the American studio behind hits such as Garth Davis’ BAFTA-winning Lion of earlier this year.

According to Moggach, The Weinstein Company, founded by producing brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein are ‘wanting to get the release right.’

‘They have promotional stuff for it but things keep holding it up. Things like actors’ schedules.’

‘There’s Alicia Vikander, who’s suddenly very hot. She was doing promotion for another film last year, so that held the release up.’

‘It’s beyond maddening.’

Vintage, the publishers of Maddoch’s novel, are said to be frustrated by the confusion due to their wish to release a tie-in book cover for the film.

‘American studios don’t think about little English publishers though’ says Moggach.

Ever since its 1999 publication, ‘Tulip Fever’ has been in high demand for adaptation, with directors Stephen Spielberg and Ridley Scott among those originally vying for the rights.

A 2004 attempt to translate the book to the big screen, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, fell through at the eleventh hour amid changes to UK tax rules and was not until a decade later that the proposed film once again entered production.

Having debuted footage at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, the Justin Chadwick directed film had been penned for a Summer 2016 distribution before being pushed back to February of this year. That release was pulled at the last minute by The Weinstein Company however, with a new international release date set for August 24, 2017.

Though Tulip Fever comes from British production company Ruby Films, was filmed entirely in Britain, and held a London screening last month, a UK release date has yet to be announced.

Moggach, who has previously witnessed her writing adapted to screen with 2014’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, has only praise for the film itself.

‘I’m in it, an old crone in a tavern. It’s jolly good.’

‘Justin Chadwick has done an amazing job, I’m just a bit dispirited about it all.’

‘My worry is that it’s getting a bad reputation from being pulled so much as though there’s something catastrophically wrong with it.’

The Weinstein Company have been contacted for comment.


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