Anthony Minghella

The Seven Deadly Sins was a screenplay written by Anthony Minghella, which was in pre-production by Jim Henson Productions for ten years and never produced. The plot involved a man suffering a spiritual crisis. Faced with losing his wife and children to another man, the protagonist attempts suicide and is visited by the sins, anthropomorphized beings, supplied by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, who "force him to live life their way."[1] Seven Deadly Sins was first announced in the press following Minghella's successful film Truly, Madly, Deeply in 1991, already with Henson involvement.[2]

The project remained on the slate in 1993, and Duncan Kenworthy was assigned as producer in 1996.[3] In 1997, Minghella discussed in detail some of the hurdles involved in getting the story made:

I wrote a screenplay, called The Seven Deadly Sins, as a Creature Shop project. Initially, people were frightened of it, because it is an extremely serious investigation of sin, using creatures. The question is, can you use creatures, fantasy characters, in a serious film? You can make E.T., which is a fairly serious film, but its themes and vocabulary are directed at children. One of the defining characteristics of The Seven Deadly Sins is that the sins are adult ones. How do you tell that story with fantasy characters and expect an adult audience to feel it's for them? I've yet to work that out... I happen to think that there will be a really big adult audience who will go along to a movie that has the fun that fantasy characters can bring.[4]

By 1999, an actual crew had begun to form. Buoyed by the success of Minghella's The English Patient, the latter film's producer, Saul Zaentz, announced plans to make The Seven Deadly Sins in partnership with the Jim Henson Company. Veteran Hollywood director Stanley Donen, who had helmed such films as Singin' in the Rain, was signed to direct. Novelist Herbert Gold was hired to rewrite the screenplay as a working script. No cast had been selected, but a scheduled release date of summer 2000 was announced.[5] Later in 2000, writer Marshall Brickman was assigned to do further re-writes, and a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival was planned to encourage international marketing of the film, to be handled by Hollywood Machine International.[6]

In January 2001, trade papers announced that The Seven Deadly Sins had yet to start shooting, pushed to an expected mid-to-late 2001 "because the script by Anthony Minghella needed more time to be completed."[7] No further news of the project has surfaced since.

See also


  1. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. October 24, 1999.
  2. Wolf, Matt. "Anthony Mingella." The New York Times, April 28, 1991.
  3. The Hollywood Reporter. May 20, 1996
  4. Bacon, Matt. No Strings Attached. p. 175
  5. Stack, Peter. "Stanley Donen To Direct Sins' For Saul Zaentz." The San Francisco Chronicle. October 5, 1999.
  6. Harris, Dana. "Machine, Zaentz 'Sins" Partners." Variety. March 2000.
  7. Laski, Beth. "Forman, Zaentz Framing Goya Film." The Hollywood Reporter. January 09, 2001.
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