'Hemingway & Gellhorn' Director Philip Kaufman Revisits an 'Incredibly Passionate Love Story' (Video)

HBO goes back in time with Hemingway & Gellhorn, about the lives of writer Ernest Hemingway and journalist Martha Gellhorn.

Director Philip Kaufman revealed to The Hollywood Reporter how he got involved with the project starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman.

"Somebody presented me with a very long screenplay [by] Barbara Turner [and Jerry Stahl], which I came to think had some potential," Kaufman says. "We spent about eight years, producer Peter Kaufman and I, trying to develop this project eventually."

As time went on, Kaufman became enthralled by Hemingway and Gellhorn, who were married from 1940-45.

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"I became more and more interested in the idea of Hemingway and this wife who was a great writer -- the more you read of her, the greater you felt she was as a writer -- but she was almost relegated to being a footnote in history as Hemingway's third wife," Kaufman says. "Yet she was the most beautiful woman he was married to and she was the only woman who left him."

If there was any doubt that the writers took creative license in some of the dialogue, that wasn't the case.

"A lot of the lines that Clive Owen says are in fact Hemingway lines," Kaufman reassured, "and a lot of them are Gellhorn -- her narration, her voiceover, it's taken absolutely right out of her writing."

Kaufman called Hemingway and Gellhorn's relationship "an incredibly passionate love story written beautifully by both of them."

Hemingway & Gellhorn airs Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO.