Though director Anthony Minghella thought The Talented Mr. Ripley would be his last literary adaptation project, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain to the big screen.
According to Minghella, Cold Mountain "was a spiritual destination as much as a geographical one." "The story appealed to me as enormously cinematic; yet, it allowed me to investigate the spiritual life, and walking as a penance or an atonement." Minghella spent a year constructing the screenplay, pulling inspiration from a variety of sources like The Odyssey. He also focused a great deal on his musical choices.
More than 1,000 songs were considered. "Very often in making movies, the music is the last guest invited to the table; I wanted it to be there from the beginning, as a means to help the actors prepare."