- Possession (2002 film)
name = Possession
caption = Original theatrical poster
A. S. Byatt(novel) David Henry Hwang(screenplay) Laura Jones(screenplay)
Neil LaBute (screenplay)
Aaron Eckhart Gwyneth Paltrow Jeremy Northam Jennifer Ehle Holly Aird Lena Headey
Len Amato(executive) David Barron(executive)
distributor = - USA -
- Canada -
- non-USA/Canada -
released = August 16, 2002
runtime = 102 min.
language = English
imdb_id = 0256276
"Possession" is a
2002motion picture written and directed by Neil LaBute, based on the novel of the by A. S. Byatt. The film tells the story of two scholars, Roland Michell (played by Aaron Eckhart) and Maud Bailey ( Gwyneth Paltrow), who investigate the affair of fictional Victorian erapoet Randolph Henry Ash ( Jeremy Northam), described in letters between him and another fictional poet, Christabel LaMotte ( Jennifer Ehle).
Early drafts of the film's screenplay were written by playwright
David Henry Hwangin the nineties, but the project languished in pre-production for years (with directors like Sydney Pollackand Gillian Armstrongworking on the film and eventually giving up) before LaBute came aboard.cite web | url =http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0DE7DC1E3AF93BA2575BC0A9649C8B63 |date = 2002-08-18 | title = FILM; Can Bookish Be Sexy? Yeah, Says Neil LaBute | publisher = by Daniel Zalewski, "The New York Times". | accessdate = 2008-03-25] LaBute made drastic changes to the story, partially based on notes that Byatt had made on earlier drafts of the screenplay.
LaBute recalled, "What she basically said was, 'This is Roland on the page; you must make him different in a film!' She got that Roland needed more drive. Just seeing those notes kind of gave me the keys to the kingdom. And so in the film, Roland keeps making these wild, imaginative leaps about the poets' lives, and Maud's both charmed and appalled." LaBute changed Roland's nationality from British to American, in what he denied was "shameless pandering to the audience....in part, it was [just] more comfortable for me to write Roland that way."
Ralph Fienneswas approached for the role that eventually went to Jeremy Northam. [cite web | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,85192,00.html |date = 2000-05-11 | title = News Summary: Berry Sorry | publisher = by Sandra P. Angulo, "Entertainment Weekly". | accessdate = 2007-03-06]
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