Tulip Fever
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Chadwick
Screenplay by
Based onTulip Fever
by Deborah Moggach
Produced by
CinematographyEigil Bryld
Edited byRick Russell
Music byDanny Elfman
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company[1] (United States)
Entertainment Film Distributors (United Kingdom)[2]
Release dates
  • August 13, 2017 (2017-08-13) (Soho House)
  • September 1, 2017 (2017-09-01) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Budget$25 million[3]
Box office$9.2 million[2]

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 1999 novel of the same name. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O'Connell, Holliday Grainger, Tom Hollander, Matthew Morrison, Kevin McKidd, Douglas Hodge, Joanna Scanlan, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz. The plot follows a 17th-century "Tulip mania" 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 1 September 2017. It received generally unfavourable reviews from critics and grossed $9 million worldwide against its $25 million budget. This was also the last film to be theatrically released by The Weinstein Company, which filed for bankruptcy following a series of sexual assault cases against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.


The orphan Sophia is cared for in a convent in the Dutch Republic just before the 17th century tulip mania. A marriage proposal from the far-older spice merchant Cornelis enables her to leave, with the generous dowry allowing her sisters to emigrate to New Amsterdam, where they have an aunt awaiting them, their only surviving relative.

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 misfortune 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.

Cornelis hires a painter so that he may be remembered as having 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 of tulips. She shows up at his door with the tulips, and they consummate their affair.

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 and, expecting to be independently prosperous and able to marry Maria, he sells his business to another fishmonger. 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 infidelity, he goes to a pub to drown his sorrows. There a prostitute robs him of the money he has acquired in the tulip market. When he tries to retrieve the money, he is beaten by her brother and a mob of his friends and forcibly pressed into the Dutch Navy.

Jan plots to escape to the new world with Sophia, after having success of his own in the tulip market. He learns 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 apologizes and the abbess gives him the bulbs Willem had bought before he was abducted 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 she disclosed to Cornelis the pregnancy. Sophia conspires with Maria to pass off the pregnancy as her own: when the baby is born, Sophia will pretend to die in childbirth so she can leave with Jan and Maria can raise the child as her own with Cornelis.

After Maria gives birth to a daughter and Sophia pretends to die, Cornelis is grief stricken 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 in Africa, visits Maria at Cornelis's house. Maria is furious at him, but they soon reconcile once he discovers he was not betrayed. Cornelis overhears their loud quarreling and the revelation of the conspiracy among Maria, Sophia, and Jan. Cornelis makes his peace with the truth, and departs for the Dutch East Indies, where he finds love and makes a family, but only after leaving the house to Maria, Willem, and the baby girl that 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 the scaffold, he sees Sophia, who has joined the convent, and they share tender smiles.



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.[5][6]

In 2014, Alison Owen partnered with Weinstein to restart the film after re-acquiring the rights to the film from Paramount Pictures.[7] In October 2013, Dane DeHaan was in talks to join the cast.[8] In February 2014, Christoph Waltz joined the cast.[9] In April 2014, Holliday Grainger, Cara Delevingne, and Jack O'Connell joined the cast.[10][11] According to Cara Delevingne, the real reason for her casting was that producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her, attempted to kiss her without consent, and propositioned her for a threesome in a hotel room in exchange for a role. Despite declining, she was still cast in the film but says she regretted it as his actions terrified her.[12][13] In June 2014, Judi Dench was cast as the abbess of St. Ursula, who takes in orphaned children.[14] That same month Tom Hollander, Cressida Bonas, and David Harewood joined the cast.[15][16][17] In August 2014, Matthew Morrison joined.[18] 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.[18][19]

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.[20] Tom Stoppard adapted the screenplay for the film.[21] The London-based Welsh portrait artist Jamie Routley did the original portraits that are seen in the film.[22] Danny Elfman composed the film's score.[23]

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.[24] Other filming locations include Norwich Cathedral,[17] Holkham (in Norfolk),[25] Tilbury (in Essex), Kentwell Hall (in Suffolk), and at Pinewood Studios on various dates throughout June and July in 2014.[26] Filming also took place in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.


Footage from the film was screened in May 2015 at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.[27] In December 2015, the first image of the film featuring Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz was released.[28] The film was originally scheduled to be released in November 2015, but was pushed back to 15 July 2016[29] and then delayed again until 24 February 2017.[30][31] It was then pulled from the schedule,[32] and later moved to 25 August 2017.[33] On 16 August 2017, the film was again delayed, this time being pushed back a week to 1 September.[34] The film premiered on 13 August 2017, at London's Soho House.[citation needed]


Box office

Tulip Fever grossed $2.4 million in the United States and Canada and $6.7 million in other territories for a total of $9.2 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[2]

In North America, Tulip Fever was projected to gross $1–2 million from 765 theatres in its opening weekend.[35] It ended up debuting to $1.2 million ($1.5 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend) in what was the worst combined holiday weekend since 1998.[36] Despite adding seven theaters in its second weekend, the film dropped 75.4% to $285,300, the 37th biggest such drop in history.[37]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 10% based on 60 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tulip Fever is a lush, handsomely-mounted period piece undone by uninspired dialogue and excessive plotting."[38] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised average rating to reviews, the film has an average score of 38 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[39]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 1 star out of 4, saying, "Tulip Fever, which was shot in 2014 but only hitting theatres now after years of re-cutting, retooling and release-date reshuffling, should have been allowed to die on the vine [...] The film just sits there onscreen like a wilting flower with nothing to nourish it."[40]

In December 2018, it was released in several cinemas across the UK. It was reviewed by Adam White of The Daily Telegraph, as "handsome yet cripplingly dull Tulip Fever is every bit a throwback to that age of Chocolat and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin" and it suffers from "clumsy post-production work".[41] It was also the penultimate film to be produced by The Weinstein Company, prior to its closure on 16 July 2018.[42]

Notes and references


  1. ^ Paramount, which initially acquired rights to the film, were only given a studio credit in the final film.


  1. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (1 September 2017). "Review: 'Tulip Fever' Delivers a Wilted Period Piece". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tulip Fever (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  3. ^ "The Long, Strange Trip of Tulip Fever to Theaters". The Atlantic. 31 August 2017.
  4. ^ "'Tulip Fever' starring Allentown native Dane DeHaan is on area screens, finally". The Morning Call. 30 August 2017. Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Judi Dench to star in Tulip Fever movie". bbc.co.uk. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Why 'Tulip Fever' Took Nearly 20 Years to Reach the Screen (Guest Column)". The Hollywood Reporter. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  7. ^ "In Conversation: Alison Owen (Producer of Saving Mr. Banks, Shaun of the Dead, Tamara Drewe)". Film Doctor. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  8. ^ Jaugernauth, Kevin (31 October 2013). "Dane DeHaan Feeling 'Tulip Fever,' Melisandre Feels 'Incarnate,' Alan Arkin & Amanda Seyfried Have A 'Wonderful Time' & More". Indiewire. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  9. ^ Kemp, Stuart (8 February 2014). "Christoph Waltz Picks 'Tulip Fever' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  10. ^ Yamato, Jen (24 April 2014). "UK Model Cara Delevingne In Talks For 'Tulip Fever' & 'Pan' Roles". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  11. ^ Williams, Owen (21 February 2014). "Holliday Grainger Has Tulip Fever". empireonline.com. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  12. ^ Gajanan, Mahita (11 October 2017). "Cara Delevingne Speaks Out on Meeting With Harvey Weinstein: 'I Felt Very Powerless and Scared'". Time. Archived from the original on 22 May 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  13. ^ Sawer, Patrick (11 October 2017). "Cara Delevingne becomes latest star to allege sexual harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  14. ^ "Judi Dench to star in Tulip Fever movie". bbc.co.uk. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  15. ^ Milan, Mark Robert (11 June 2014). "Cressida Bonas Cast In New Weinstein Movie Prince Harry's ex sets sights on Hollywood". www.royal-fans.com. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Anna Kendrick To Voice Lead In 'Trolls'; David Harewood Joins 'Tulip Fever' Cast". www.deadline.com. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  17. ^ a b Knights, Emma (13 June 2014). "Filming begins for Tulip Fever at Norwich Cathedral". eveningnews24.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  18. ^ a b Campbell, Tina (20 August 2014). "One Direction star Harry Styles could have been in a movie kissing Cara Delevingne, but hey, didn't have the time". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  19. ^ Jaafar, Ali (11 March 2016). "One Direction Singer Harry Styles Offered Role In Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Tulip Fever". cathedral.org.uk (Norwich Cathedral). Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  21. ^ Williams, Owen (6 June 2014). "Judi Dench Has Tulip Fever". empireonline.com. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Tulip Fever starring Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz & Dane DeHaan ... coming soon? (First look)". chapter1-take1.blogspot.co.uk. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Danny Elfman to score Justin Chadwick's Tulip Fever". Film Music Reporter. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  24. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Tulip Fever Article".
  25. ^ "Filming for Tulip Fever takes place in Holkham as well as Norwich Cathedral". edp24.co.uk. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  26. ^ Britcher, Chris (23 April 2014). "Film extras from Kent wanted for Tulip Fever movie". Your Medway. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  27. ^ Furness, Hannah (15 May 2015). "Cannes: Cressida Bonas's screen career blooms with Tulip Fever". telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Alicia Vikander : The Danish Girl Star Jumps Out of a Plane and Talks Overnight Fame". Vogue.com. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  29. ^ McClintock, Pamela (26 April 2016). "Alicia Vikander's 'Tulip Fever' Gets Summer Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  30. ^ Busch, Anita (6 July 2016). "Alicia Vikander-Starring 'Tulip Fever' Moved To 2017 By TWC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  31. ^ Bramesco, Charles (30 June 2016). "What to See at the Movies in July". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  32. ^ Winfrey, Graham (13 February 2017). "The Weinstein Company's 'Tulip Fever' Release Date Pushed Back to Later in 2017". Indiewire.com. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  33. ^ "Weinstein Co. Replanting 'Tulip Fever' In The Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  34. ^ "'Tulip Fever' Release Date Shifts Into September". Deadline Hollywood. 16 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Box office: Hitman's Bodyguard to threepeat over tepid Labor Day weekend". Entertainment Weekly. 31 August 2017.
  36. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (3 September 2017). "Labor Day Weekend The Worst Since 1998 As 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Holds No. 1 For 3rd Weekend With $12.9M". Deadline Hollywood.
  37. ^ "Crazed Clown Cashes Smashes Sept., Genre Records As Stephen King's 'It' Pulls In $123M+ Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  38. ^ "Tulip Fever (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Tulip Fever reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  40. ^ Travers, Peter (1 September 2017). "'Tulip Fever' Review: This D.O.A. Period Piece Should've Died on the Vine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  41. ^ White, Adam (7 December 2018). "Tulip Fever review: covered in Harvey Weinstein's grubby fingerprints". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  42. ^ "Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy and frees staff from secrecy orders". The Guardian. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2019.