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WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

About The Story
What Dreams May Come is a courageous exploration of worlds heretofore only imagined, the inspired collaboration of its visionary director, acclaimed novelist, distinguished screenwriter and award winning cast

What Dreams May Come is a courageous exploration of worlds heretofore only imagined, the inspired collaboration of its visionary director, acclaimed novelist, distinguished screenwriter and award winning cast. It is a singular, stunning and ambitious depiction of the afterlife, combining elements of fantasy, drama and spectacle. As Robin Williams says, "Not a lot of movies are made about heaven and hell. Not a lot of movies use art as a metaphor. What's a 'meta' for, anyway?" he laughs. "I'm fascinated by the idea of using computer technology to create something other than an explosion or a raptor."

"The idea that soulmates exist and that love goes on after death is a powerful, compelling, wonderful idea," states Executive Producer Scott Kroopf. "To make a movie about the things that everyone is most afraid of... and to make you think about those possibilities is the power of film."

The history of bringing the mystery and adventure of What Dreams May Come to the screen began in 1978 when producer Stephen Simon (then Stephen Deutsch) received a gift that would take him two decades to unwrap. While Simon was in pre-production on the theatrical adaptation of another Matheson work, Somewhere In Time, the author handed him the galleys of a new work in progress, What Dreams May Come, a book Matheson had written for his wife. Simon snapped up the rights. For 16 years Simon tried many times to get the project made, until 1994 when he met writer-producer Barnet Bain at a conference on metaphysics and the two discovered a mutual interest in stories about the afterlife. Two years later they formed Metafilmics, a production company focused on exploring the metaphysical realm through film.

Their pursuit of a writer who could adapt both the spiritual and romantic complexities of Matheson's story into a concise screenplay led them to Academy Award winner Ron Bass. Recalls Simon: "The first critical member of the team was Ron who did an extraordinary adaptation. The next biggest challenge was, who's going to direct it?"

Map of the Human Heart proved the key. After Simon and Bain saw the film they knew Vincent Ward was the director with the vision to make this film happen. It was a bittersweet moment for Ward, who loved the script but felt it would be a difficult story to translate on screen. "I was deeply affected by this story, but I couldn't see how to do it because 75 percent of the story is set in the afterlife," Ward remembers. "And the thing I've noticed about movies set in the afterlife is that there's no sense of a world there. There are clouds, lots of mist and not much else.

"Artists for the last 2,000 years have been consumed with trying to find a way to envisage Hell and Paradise. It occurred to me that if you could find a way to draw on some of the tradition and put it in a movie, into something from the 20th Century, you would have the solution."

He found that solution in a passion he knows well: art. "In the book, Annie worked in a catering firm and I thought if you could make her a painter, a fine art painter and 19th-Century art restorer, then, when Chris dies, he could come to Paradise and believe that he is actually in Annie's painting, a painting that she has done as a gift for him," explains Ward. "We conveyed the whole of Heaven and Hell as a series of paintings. It's a very sub

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