Tulip Fever is a 2017 historical romantic drama film directed by Justin Chadwick and written by Deborah Moggach and Tom Stoppard, adapted from Moggach's novel of the same name. It stars Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O'Connell, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, Holliday Grainger, Matthew Morrison and Cara Delevingne. The plot follows a 17th-century painter in Amsterdam who falls in love with a married woman whose portrait he has been commissioned to paint.
Filmed in the summer of 2014, Tulip Fever was delayed numerous times before finally being released in the United States on September 1, 2017 by The Weinstein Company. It grossed $8 million worldwide against its $25 million budget.
The film was originally planned to be made in 2004 on a $48 million budget, with Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Jim Broadbent as lead actors, John Madden as director and Steven Spielberg producing through DreamWorks. However, the production was halted days before it was scheduled to start filming as a result of changes in tax rules affecting film production in the UK.
On July 8, 2013, the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reported that Justin Chadwick would direct the film with Alicia Vikander attached to star in the role of Sophia and that Matthias Schoenaerts was being sought for the male lead. Bamigboye reported that Chadwick together with producers Alison Owen and Harvey Weinstein, decided to cast Vikander for the film.
In 2014, Alison Owen partnered with Weinstein to restart the film after re-acquiring the rights to the film from Paramount Pictures. In October 2013, Dane DeHaan was in talks to join the cast. In February 2014, Christoph Waltz joined the cast. In April 2014, Holliday Grainger, Cara Delevingne, and Jack O’Connell joined the cast. In June 2014, Judi Dench was cast as the abbess of St. Ursula, who takes in orphaned children. That same month Tom Hollander, Cressida Bonas, and David Harewood joined the cast. In August 2014, Matthew Morrison joined. Deborah Moggach, author of the novel, also appears in the film. Harvey Weinstein offered Harry Styles the role of Mattheus, but the singer turned it down due to scheduling conflicts, and Matthew Morrison was cast instead.
The crew of Tulip Fever included cinematographer Eigil Bryld, production designer Simon Elliott, costume designer Michael O’Connor, hair and make-up designer Daniel Phillips and editor Rick Russell. Tom Stoppard adapted the screenplay for the film. The London-based Welsh portrait artist Jamie Routley did the original portraits that are seen in the film.Danny Elfman composed the film's score.
Filming took place at Cobham Hall in Gravesend, Kent where production transformed a wing at the school into a 17th-century Amsterdam Gracht. The waterway was also constructed from scratch, complete with barges and donkeys crossing humpback bridges. Additionally, the school's courtyard was used as the brewery yard in the story. Other filming locations include Norwich Cathedral, Holkham (in Norfolk),Tilbury (in Essex), Kentwell Hall (in Suffolk), and at Pinewood Studios on various dates throughout June and July in 2014. Filming also took place in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.
Set in the Netherlands in the 17th century, during the period of the tulip mania, Sophia, an orphan, is betrothed to the elderly Cornelis. In return for the marriage, her sisters are able to travel to New Amsterdam (New York) in the new world, where they have an aunt awaiting them.
Three years later, Sophia is unhappy in the marriage, since Cornelis seems to be concerned only with conceiving an heir, to no avail thus far. Cornelis believes this to have something to do with a mistake he made in the past, with his previous wife: she miscarried their first child and when Cornelis asked the doctor to save the second child over the wife, he feels that God punished him by taking both his wife and his child away.
Cornelis decides to hire a painter, so that he could at least be remembered as having had a beautiful young wife, should he have no heir to continue his legacy. Sophia agrees, but as soon as the young painter Jan arrives to paint the couple, he and Sophia fall in love. Jan sends a note to Sophia, asking her to send him a vase with tulips. She shows up at his door with the tulips, and they consummate their love.
Meanwhile, Sophia's friend, the housemaid Maria, is in a courtship with the neighborhood fishmonger, Willem. Willem is speculating in the tulip market, and is doing quite well - expecting to be independently prosperous and able to marry Maria, he even sells his business to another fishmonger. One day, Sophia borrows Maria's cloak and heads to a rendezvous with Jan. Willem, seeing Sophia in the cloak, mistakes her for Maria, and follows her to her rendezvous. Crushed by what he thinks is Maria's unfaithfulness, he goes to a pub to drown his sorrows. There a prostitute robs him of the large sum of money he has built up on the tulip market. When he tries to retrieve the money, he is beaten up and forcibly inducted into the navy for causing a ruckus.
Jan plots to escape to the new world with Sophia, after having success of his own in the tulip speculation market. He hears that the nuns at St. Ursula (the convent Sophia came from) raise tulips in their gardens. Jan attempts to steal some of the bulbs, but is knocked out by the abbess of St. Ursula. When he regains consciousness, he apologises and the abbess gives him the bulbs Willem had bought before he was thrown into the navy.
Maria realizes that she is pregnant with Willem's child. With Willem gone, the baby will be born out of wedlock. Maria explains her condition to Sophia and threatens to reveal Sophia's affair to Cornelis, if Cornelis were to find out about her pregnancy. Sophia conspires with Maria and decides to pass off the pregnancy as her own. When the baby is born, Sophia will pretend to die in childbirth, so she can leave to be with Jan, and Maria will get to raise the child as her own with Cornelis.
After Maria gives birth to a daughter and Sophia pretends to die, Cornelis is griefstricken at the loss of his wife. Sophia, under her shroud, weeps as she realizes that she has deeply hurt Cornelis with her deceit, but eventually realizes that it is too late to undo what she has done. Ashamed of herself, Sophia runs away and Jan is unable to find her.
Willem, returning after his stint in the navy, goes to see Maria at Cornelis's house. Maria is furious at him at first, but they soon reconcile. Cornelis overhears their loud quarreling and the reveal of the conspiracy between Maria, Sophia, and Jan. Cornelis makes his peace with the truth, and departs for the Indies, where he finds love and makes a family, but only after first leaving the house to Maria, Willem, and the baby girl he loved as his own.
Eight years later, the abbess of St. Ursula visits Jan and views his artwork of Sophia. She praises him for his talent, and commissions him to paint a mural in the church. When Jan looks down from painting the mural, he sees Sophia, who has joined the convent, and they share tender smiles.
A tulip, known as "the Viceroy" (viseroij), displayed in the 1637 Dutch catalog Verzameling van een Meenigte Tulipaanen. Its bulb was offered for sale between 3,000 and 4,200 guilders (florins) depending on size (aase). A skilled craftsworker at the time earned about 300 guilders a year.
Anonymous 17th-century watercolor of the Semper Augustus, famous for being the most expensive tulip sold during tulip mania.
In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Among the most notable centered on the tulip market, at the height of tulip mania. At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsworker. Research is difficult because of the limited economic data from the 1630s, much of which come from biased and speculative sources. Some modern economists have proposed rational explanations, rather than a speculative mania, for the rise and fall in prices. For example, other flowers, such as the hyacinth, also had high initial prices at the time of their introduction, which immediately fell. The high asset prices may also have been driven by expectations of a parliamentary decree that contracts could be voided for a small cost, thus lowering the risk to buyers.
A standardized price index for tulip bulb contracts, created by Earl Thompson. Thompson had no price data between February 9 and May 1, thus the shape of the decline is unknown. The tulip market is known to have collapsed abruptly in February.