Winter’s Tale (not to be confused with the Shakespeare play) starring Colin Farrell, premieres today to high expectations. For writer/director Akiva Goldsman, it’s been a labor of love, but a long and complicated one. Goldsman spoke to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, explaining some of the trouble he ran into with Winter’s Tale, as well as his personal life during pre-production.

Colin Farrell, Winter's Tale Still
Colin Farrell, horse - what more could you want in a romance flick, really?

"This movie is kind of an exercise in faith," he told THR. "I was trying to write it, and my wife passed away while I was writing the screenplay, and I didn't think I'd do much of anything after that. This became kind of a Hail Mary to the idea that there's a peacefulness behind random acts of love."

In the end, Goldsman managed to turn the 800-page book into a moving and intelligent script, which instantly grabbed Colin Farrell’s attention – or so the actor says: "It was something, more than anything I've ever read, that lacked guile and lacked edge and was completely without any cynical ambitions. It was just completely filled with hope and sweetness and sentimentality. And I'd never read anything like that."

Watch the Winter's Tale trailer below.

Click through to the next page for stills, reviews and more of Goldsman's commentary.