The L.A.Times has an interview with Akiva Goldsman about Winter’s Tale as his labor of love and loss. Excerpt:
Goldsman was taking another pass at “Winter’s Tale” in summer 2010 when his wife, Rebecca Spikings-Goldsman, died of a heart attack. She was 42. After months of trying to think and feel his way through the traumatic loss (“Everything just breaks,” Goldsman says), he woke up one morning and started writing “Winter’s Tale” again. Goldsman worked at home in a tiny bell tower that his wife had converted into an office.
“The book suddenly went from something I loved to the only thing that mattered,” Goldsman says.
And as such, Goldsman felt he needed to direct the film based on it. To make that happen, he called in 20 years of favors, enlisting old friends like Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith to work for scale (or slightly above it). He also waived his remaining writing fees and put his Directors Guild minimum salary back into the movie, which opens on Valentine’s Day. Warner Bros. looked at the material, which, because of its fantasy elements, would require a fair amount of effects work, and figured it would cost about $75 million to make. They told Goldsman he could have about half that.
“I’m the kind of romantic that likes to find the meaning in things,” Goldsman says. “Just in its natural course, life is sufficiently hard. And if you can find the hope underneath that, that there is connectedness and some reason to it, then there’s some comfort in that. That’s what I’ve learned anyway. And I think that feeling is in the movie.”