Movie Fact #176 - March 24th, 2021
1968's Sweet November was originally written as a stage play by Herman Raucher, but before it was performed, Universal Pictures got wind of the project and paid Raucher $100,000 (equivalent to $766,766 in 2019) to stop work on the play. Raucher himself was asked to adapt it as a screenplay, which he ultimately did.
That wasn't the only intriguing "preemptive action" by the studio as the film was originally announced as a starring vehicle for Audrey Hepburn in the role of Sara Deever though it was actually intended as a vehicle for Samantha Eggar and Anthony Newley, as the two had starred together the previous year in Doctor Dolittle (1967). That was one move that didn't work out as Universal Pictures intended as, while Newley did end up starring as Charlie Blake, the role of Sara Deever ultimately the role went to Sandy Dennis. Still, the film has since become much beloved so it all worked out in the end, it seems. Stay tuned!