Christoph Waltz Picks 'Tulip Fever' (Exclusive)
Berlin -- Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is preparing for a trip to the U.K. to star in Tulip Fever, the long-gestating passion project from British producer Alison Owen.
Waltz, currently on competition jury duty at the Berlinale, told THR his next project would be an undisclosed role in the love story based on Deborah Moggach's novel of the same name.
The 17th century Dutch drama's title stems from the time of the Dutch commodities market for tulips when single bulbs would sell for as much as 10 times the average annual salary at the time.
The movie details the story of a love affair between a man and a woman at a time when Dutch painters were creating paintings that would go on to be dubbed masterpieces.
Waltz is a big signing for the long-gestating project, which is scheduled to begin preproduction in April this year and is set to to star Dane DeHaan and Alicia Vikander, with Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) directing.
The movie is being mounted by Owen's Ruby Films production banner and The Weinstein Co.
Owen and Harvey Weinstein have worked together several times over the years, most recently on the South Africa set of The Giver, the Phillip Noyce-directed sci-fi drama starring Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and Alexander Skarsgard.
The journey of Tulip Fever to the screen has been a long and hard road for Owen.
Just months before cameras were set to roll with Jude Law starring in the film in 2004, the production was closed down due to a surprise decision by the British government to change its tax-break program. The changes meant a large part of the $20 million budget was wiped away overnight.
Austrian-born Waltz told THR the script for the movie was "brilliant" and that he was looking forward to getting in front of the cameras for the film.
Waltz won the first of two supporting actor Oscars for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds in 2009 and then 2012's Django Unchained from the same filmmaker, with Weinstein backing both. He's repped by ICM Partners and Players Agentur Management in Germany.
Ruby Film and Television recently made Saving Mr. Banks for Walt Disney Pictures and BBC Films, written by Kelly Marcel, directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) and starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.