Our subject line is taken from one of the many taglines from the movie we are looking at today. As you can see from the poster below, another is This Is Not A True Story. It’s a Love Story.
Valentine’s Day 2014 saw the release of the Akiva Goldsman directed Winter’s Tale, based on the 1983 magical-realism novel by Mark Helprin. Goldsman, who had won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind, made his directorial debut in addition to adapting the screenplay from the original source material. Hans Zimmer (Gladiator) and Rupert Gregson-Williams (a member of Zimmer’s ‘Remote Control Productions’) composed the music. Oscar nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel did the photography. The movie starred Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay (formerly of Downton Abbey), Graham Greene, Listo the Horse, and four Oscar winners: William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe. It also featured a “surprise” cameo by Will Smith.
The film had been a “passion project” for Goldsman for over a decade. This was after the project was scrapped in the early 2000’s when Martin Scorsese – who had been pegged to direct it – declared the book “unfilmable”. Starting with a budget of $75 million, Warner Brothers skimmed this down to $60 million, despite the signing of both Crowe and Smith. Other sources claim a budget of anywhere from $80 million to a staggering $150 million.
Among the actors originally considered for the lead role of Peter Lake was Tom Hiddleston. (Side Note: OMG! For him alone I would have lined up for this movie).
An IMDB description: Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, the film is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil.
Despite the star power of the cast and crew, the movie went on to become the first major box office bomb of 2014. Opening #7 in the United States to a $7.3 million weekend and mostly negative reviews, it grossed almost $13 million domestically, made a little over $18 million internationally, and grossed $30.8 million worldwide.