‘Mandela’ Filmmaker Justin Chadwick to Direct ‘Tulip Fever’ for Weinstein Co.

Alison Owen of Ruby Films is producing the adaptation of Deborah Moggach's romance novel

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

British filmmaker Justin Chadwick, whose "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is expected to be a big part of the Weinstein Co.'s awards season plans, is attached to direct "Tulip Fever" for the indie company, according to two individuals familiar with the long-gestating period project.

Deborah Moggach's romance novel is set in 17th century Amsterdam and follows a married woman who begins a passionate affair with an artist hired to paint her portrait. The lovers gamble on the booming market for tulip bulbs as a way to raise money to run away together.

Also read: Weinstein Co. Acquires 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

Alicia Vikander is being eyed to play the female lead but she is not officially involved with the project at this time, contrary to published reports, the individuals told TheWrap.

Keira Knightley and Jude Law had been eyed to star in a previous incarnation of the project, which has drawn interest from directors such as Tom Hooper, John Madden and Peter Chelson over the years.

Alison Owen of Ruby Films is producing along with Harvey Weinstein, who clearly has faith in Chadwick and his "Mandela" movie to give him prized literary material such as "Tulip Fever."

Chadwick previously worked with Owen on his 2008 feature directorial debut "The Other Boleyn Girl," which starred Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana.

Chadwick's other credits include the award-winning 2010 documentary "The First Grader." He's repped by UTA, Independent Talent Group and attorney George Davis.

Idris Elba and Naomie Harris star in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," which TWC will release on Nov. 29.