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
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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