ORIGINS: “(Director) Joe Wright wanted to tackle ‘Anna Karenina’ and decided to do it if one person could adapt it: Tom Stoppard. So Joe came to Tim and me, we asked Tom, he agreed and that was it,” Webster says.
FUNDING: “It was very simple as our deal is with Working Title, who took it to Universal, who brought in Focus, who fully financed it.”
HIGH HURDLES: “The biggest challenge was Joe’s last-minute decision to change it from the typical, all-Russian location adaptation — which was logistically incredibly difficult, economically challenging and creatively uninspiring — to what was basically a studio-bound project in the U.K.”
DOMINO EFFECT: “Keira came on first, then Matthew Macfadyen and Jude Law followed quickly. Because of the momentum, we were fortunately able to get our pick of British actors who, for their stature, did quite small roles.”