Justin Chadwick has shown a love of delving into history to tell riveting true tales in his past films, The Other Boleyn Girl, The First Grader and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. All three of those efforts were excellent, which makes us excited that he’s going back in time to the 17th century for his next movie, titled Tulip Fever. Now, we have even more reason to be excited about the project, with news that Skyfall actress Judi Dench and Glee star Matthew Morrison have signed on for supporting roles, along with model Cara Delevingne and Cressida Bonas.
The actors join an already promising cast which includes Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Christoph Waltz and Zach Galifianakis. Set in 17th century Amsterdam, Tulip Fever tells the story of a married woman (Vikander) who, upon falling for the man (DeHaan) contracted to paint her portrait, begins a passionate affair with him. Seeking funds to run away together, the pair turn to the blooming but still risky market for tulip bulbs.
Dench will play the Abbess of St. Ursula’s, a kindly woman who rescues orphan children. Meanwhile, Morrison will take on the part of drunken Bohemian artist Mattheus. Delevingne is set for the role of an artists’ model named Annetje, while Bonas, in her acting debut, will take on the part of Mrs. Steen, the young wife of a merchant.
Brendan McCoy, Michael Nardone, Raed Abbas, Sayed Kassem, Jonathon Michaels and David Georgiou are all set to co-star in the film.
Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) penned the script for Tulip Fever, adapting Deborah Moggach’s romance novel of the same name. With Stoppard’s script and Chadwick’s capable direction, in addition to the steamy premise and an absolutely terrific crop of actors, Tulip Fever could be the rare period piece that avoids stodginess, that far too frequently seen pitfall of the genre.