The film was shot in 2014 but the release was postponed for three years. The first test screening happened in November 2014 and didn't get positive reactions. The film would be released in theaters in June 2016, but the release date was pushed to July 2016, then to February 2017 and again to August 25, 2017.
This film was seven weeks away from shooting in 2004. When the British government shuttered a tax break program, the $45 million budget grew by about $17 million, and the film was shut down. The film was resurrected by Ruby Films and The Weinstein Company in 2013 and the budget has been slimmed down to $25 million.
Matthias Schoenaerts was in talks for the male lead but turned it down. He was replaced by Dane DeHaan. Schoenaerts ended up co-starring with Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl (2015).
De Haan, Van Dijk and Hollander are all dutch surnames. Hollander is a less commonly used term for Dutchman.
In 2013, Alicia Vikander was cast in the lead role, but it was later reported that Holliday Grainger replaced her. This turned out to be incorrect, and it was announced that Vikander would indeed be playing the lead role and Grainger would be a supporting role.
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Judi Dench, Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz.
The film is set in the Netherlands with Dutch characters, but was entirely shot in UK (in Norfolk, Suffolk and at Pinewood Studios) and there's no Dutch actors in it.
Harvey Weinstein offered Harry Styles the role of Mattheus, but the singer turned it down due to scheduling conflicts and Matthew Morrison was cast instead.
Dane Dehaan and Cara Delevingne have also starred together in Valerian and the city of a thousand planets.
In 2004, director John Madden was lining up the movie with Keira Knightley and Jude Law to star, with a script by Tom Stoppard. Once tax incentives for production in UK disappeared, the project was cancelled. Some sets had already been constructed and 12,000 tulips had to be dead-headed. Soon after that, director Peter Chelsom tried to get it made, and he didn't fare any better. Then in 2011, Tom Hooper considered it among a handful of other projects as his followup to The King's Speech (2010) before deciding on Les Misérables (2012). In July 2013, Justin Chadwick was announced as the director.
Although costar Dane DeHaan descends from a mixture of European backgrounds (English, German, Dutch, Italian, and more), his last name is a Dutch term ("de Haan" means "the Rooster").