WINTER’S TALE To Begin Production

Warner Bros announced yesterday that William Hurt has been cast in the final major role for the movie Winter’s Tale based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel. Production is set to begin in October. Hurt will play the father of a young girl, played by Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay, who is dying of consumption in late 19th C Manhattan. Colin Farrell is set to play a thief who breaks into her mansion.

At the time it was published, Winter’s Tale received extraordinary praise in the the NYT BR. After several paragraphs about the plot, the reviewer finally despaired, saying, “We’re now scarcely more than a tenth of our way through Winter’s Tale, and my plot summary is a tissue of (to me) painful omissions.” He also despaired of doing the writing justice, saying he found himself “nervous, to a degree I don’t recall in my past as a reviewer, about failing the work, inadequately displaying its brilliance . . . Not for some time have I read a work as funny, thoughtful, passionate or large-souled. Rightly used, it could inspire as well as comfort us. Winter’s Tale is a great gift at an hour of great need.”

Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that the film’s director Akiva Goldsman has been working for seven years to get the project off the ground.

It happens that Helprin’s next book, In Sunlight and Shadow (HMH; Blackstone Audio), will be published in October, the same month that filming is set to begin on Winter’s Tale.

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