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Tag: Harvey Weinstein (1-10 of 34)

Harvey Weinstein on disappointing Oscar showing for 'Osage County': 'I have only myself to blame'

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One of the Oscar-season’s most anticipated films was August: Osage County, John Wells’ star-studded adaptation of Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning play. But when it premiered at September’s Toronto Film Festival, it slipped significantly behind the competition, which included Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. Critics, in general, admired the film, but some sniffed at the perceived unrestrained performances, especially Meryl Streep’s unhinged matriarch. Producer Harvey Weinstein later admitted that he rushed the film in order to benefit from the heat of Toronto, a strategy that clearly backfired. Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated for Oscars, but the film was left out of the Best Picture race.

Now, Weinstein concedes he made a mistake, telling Deadline, “I do think we paid a price critically by rushing for Toronto. … I watched how David O. [Russell] and Marty [Scorsese] took the time they needed on their films, and imposed their strong will and vision in films that came out when they were ready. I have only myself to blame for pushing John Wells to try and be ready for a festival. It was my call, and it was not the right call.” READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Harvey Weinstein, Meryl Streep team up for anti-NRA film; Plus, Jason Lee, more

• Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) is set to go face to face with the NRA gun lobby in The Weinstein Company’s upcoming film, The Senator’s Wife. Harvey Weinstein confirmed Streep’s involvement in the anti-NRA film on The Howard Stern Show, saying, the NRA “is going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” According to Deadline the upcoming film will focus on a behind-the-scenes account of how the NRA uses its influence with politicians to defeat the legislation that would have required more extensive background checks on gun sales. [Deadline]
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'The Hobbit' lawsuit: Weinsteins and Miramax sue Warner Bros. over profits

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After months of legal harrumphing from all corners, Miramax sued Warner Bros. and New Line for $75 million over claims to profits related to The Hobbit sequels. Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who ran Miramax when it was developing The Hobbit in the 1990s and retained a financial piece of Peter Jackson’s 2012 movie, are part of the lawsuit.

“This case is about greed and ingratitude,” the plaintiffs claim in papers filed today in Manhattan. “It arises in connection with a decision by Warner Bros. and New Line executives to divide a motion picture based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into three installments and Warner Bros and New Line’s claim that, as a result of that unilateral decision, Plaintiffs are not entitled to their previously agreed upon share of revenue from The Hobbit film.”

Miramax owned the rights to Tolkien’s novel — and its Lord of the Rings trilogy follow-up — briefly in the 1990s before selling them to New Line in 1998. As part of that deal, however, Miramax retained a stake in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, a claim that earned the Weinsteins more than $100 million after Peter Jackson’s films became billion-dollar blockbusters. However, New Line and its parent companies argue that that agreement extended only to the first Hobbit film — not its sequels. “This is about one of the great blunders in movie history,” said Warner Bros. in a statement. “Fifteen years ago, Miramax, run by the Weinstein brothers, sold its rights in The Hobbit to New Line. No amount of trying to rewrite history can change that fact. They agreed to be paid only on the first motion picture based on The Hobbit. And that’s all they’re owed.”
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Nelson Mandela: Filmmakers of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' react to icon's death

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Tuesday at the age of 95, is the subject of the new film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, released last week. The film stars Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World) and is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl). On behalf of the Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, studio Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein released the following statement:

“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy. It’s been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history’s greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”

Last August, EW spoke with director Chadwick about making the film, which was shot in South Africa. Weeks before shooting, Chadwick got to meet Mandela, who had been in frail health. “That was a moment and an afternoon I will never, ever, ever forget,” Chadwick told EW.  “I was invited to the house for tea. The electricity that came off him was amazing.  It was a great, great meeting.  I started shooting about three weeks later, and I  just carried that energy with me all the way through [filming].”

Read more at People.com:
Nelson Mandela: His Life in Pictures
Dignitaries and Stars Pay Tribute
Flashback: The Actors Who’ve Portrayed Him
Prince William at ‘Mandela’ Premiere: He Was ‘an Extraordinary and Inspiring Man’

Weinstein Company wins appeal to change 'Philomena' rating to PG-13

The MPAA has had a change of heart, and we have James Bond to thank.

The Motion Picture Association of American originally gave the new Stephen Frears-directed film Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, an R rating because more than one “harsher, sexually-derived word” was used as an expletive in the film. The Weinstein Company, which produced the film, argued the rating should be changed to PG-13 based on the subject matter and context.

“We felt the MPAA had made the wrong decision in handing the film, which has no violence or lewd material and the bare minimum of adult language, an ‘R’ rating,” said Frears. “I am overjoyed they’ve changed their ruling in order to give families like mine an opportunity to see this film together. Now we can let the whole world see it.”

Dench and Coogan made videos parodying Dench’s iconic James Bond character M, to get the rating changed. Coogan, who also co-wrote the film, was on hand at the MPAA hearing in Los Angeles today to speak on the film’s behalf.
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Weinstein Company resurrects M to fight M.P.A.A. on 'Philomena' rating -- VIDEO

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Dame Judi Dench is a revered Oscar-winning actress, but the kids all know her as M, James Bond’s crusty boss who died a good death in last year’s Skyfall. So what better way to promote her buzzy Oscar-hopeful performance in Philomena than resurrecting M for a special mission?

“Just when you thought I was dead,” non-M M says to the camera in the new marketing gimmick for The Weinstein Company’s movie. “I have an important mission for you… Are you familiar with M.P.A.A?” READ FULL STORY

Toronto: 'Once' director John Carney explains how he cast 'Can a Song Save Your Life?'

Once, the 2007 Oscar-winning movie about the musical connection between a broken-hearted Dublin busker and a piano-playing Czech immigrant, was one of those rare movies whose charm couldn’t be bottled in a critic’s blurb or even explained in a full review. You just had to see it to fully understand how a simple story with simple characters could make you, the audience, feel wonderful and alive and believe wholeheartedly that a song could save your life. That movie starred Glen Hansard, the lead singer of the Irish band the Frames, and his ex-bandmate John Carney directed the film.

Six years later, Carney brought a new film to the Toronto Film Festival last week, and though he insists he intended to do something quite different than Once, there’s no denying that Can a Song Save Your Life? aims to strike a similar chord. Keira Knightley plays a sensitive songwriter whose musical partner and boyfriend (Adam Levine) is about to become famous because a few of his songs were in a hit movie. As his fame tears them apart, she wallows in despair at a New York open-mic night, where she’s “discovered” by a desperate A&R man (Mark Ruffalo) who is looking for anything to cling to. Like in Once, the creative process of making music is cinematic alchemy, and the two drifting souls eventually have to decide where — and with whom — they really belong.

When Can a Song Save Your Life? premiered last weekend in Toronto, where it was seeking a distribution deal, audiences — and buyers — were immediately entranced. Harvey Weinstein cornered Carney at the film’s post-premiere party and wouldn’t let their conversation end until the director made a deal with The Weinstein Company. The next day, TWC announced its $7 million acquisition (and a $20 million advertising commitment), guaranteeing that Can a Song Save Your Life? will play in theaters across the country when it opens, most likely in 2014. Carney spoke to EW about the music business, casting judges from The Voice, and what it’s like to get the hard-sell from someone like Harvey Weinstein.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I suspect this movie will evoke a very similar audience reaction to Once, because these fragile characters also connect through their shared love of music. Where did this story begin for you?
JOHN CARNEY: I was thinking about what part of my life I could mine, and I felt that it would be fun to look back at A&R guys, who were always sort of looking for the next big thing. I was in a band after I left school, and I guess the ’90s were really that last hurrah of A&R craziness, with coke habits and five-star hotels and unlimited credit cards and stuff like that. I thought it would be interesting to see where those guys are now, now that the music industry has changed so much. The idea of an A&R man discovering an act and what discoveries are left and what does fame sort of mean anymore were some of the themes I wanted to talk about in this movie. What I liked about the conflict between Keira and Ruffalo in the film, which I hope people are seeing, is what does an old-school A&R man do with a young talent who genuinely doesn’t want the limelight?

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Harvey Weinstein teams up with Disney to develop 'Artemis Fowl' movie

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Harvey Weinstein and Walt Disney Studios have teamed up to develop a live-action film adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s popular children’s series Artemis Fowl, Disney announced Monday in a press release. The movie will be based on the first two of Colfer’s fantasy novels about a brilliant 12-year-old criminal who schemes to capture a fairy. Michael Goldenberg, who wrote the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is penning the script, with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal serving as executive producers.

The idea to turn the books into a movie isn’t new, though, and neither is Weinstein’s involvement. He’s been interested in developing the series since his Miramax days in the early 2000s.

For industry insiders and those who followed the acquisitions and shifting leadership within the movie business in the past two decades, this pairing of Weinstein and Disney might come as a particular shock. Harvey, along with his brother Bob, sold Miramax (which they co-founded in 1979) to Disney in 1993 and had a famously combative relationship with then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner. After the brothers left the company in 2005, they attempted, and failed, to buy back Miramax — a company that held both financial and sentimental value to them, as it was named after their parents.
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TWC loses appeal over 'The Butler' title

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An MPAA appeals board confirmed an arbitration ruling prohibiting The Weinstein Company from using the precise title The Butler for its upcoming White House civil-rights drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. However, the board did leave wiggle room by allowing the word “butler” in potential alternative titles.

Three weeks ago, Warner Bros. had exercised its rights to protect the title, The Butler, which is also a 1916 silent short film that resides in the studio’s archive, via the MPAA’s Title Registration Bureau. The initial July 2 ruling sided with Warner Bros., and penalized TWC $25,000 for every day it continued to promote the film, due Aug. 16, as The Butler. At the time, Harvey Weinstein and TWC’s attorney David Boies protested the ruling, publicly and legally, claiming that there could be no audience confusion between their movie and the 1916 silent movie, and accused Warner Bros. of using the issue as part of a grander negotiation tactic. READ FULL STORY

Harvey Weinstein: There's 'ulterior motive' behind 'Butler' title fight -- VIDEO

Why is Warner Bros. really trying to stop The Weinstein Company from calling its upcoming Lee Daniels film The Butler? Harvey Weinstein has a few radical ideas — and naturally, he isn’t afraid to share them.

Weinstein appeared on CBS This Morning today, along with his lawyer David Boies,  former senator and current MPAA head Chris Dodd, and veteran constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams. After complaining that films often share similar titles — “Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy have a movie out called [The] Heat. Jason Statham is shooting a movie called Heat. Bob De Niro and Al Pacino made a movie called Heat, and 10 years before that, Burt Reynolds made a movie called Heat” — the mogul posited that Warner must have “ulterior motives” for wanting The Butler to be renamed.

Weinstein’s rival is claiming protective rights to that title because it also belongs to an archival 1916 short film. Though movie titles can’t be copyrighted or trademarked, The Butler was registered with the MPAA’s voluntary Title Registration Bureau, which exists to avoid title conflicts; TWC apparently never cleared its Butler with the bureau. Warner Bros. won the case in arbitration, meaning that TWC must change the movie’s title unless it can win an appeal.

But according to Weinstein and Boies, there’s something more sinister going on here. On CBS, Boies accused Warner Bros. of trying to restrict competition from his client’s “important civil rights movie.” Weinstein went a step further, calling Warner Bros.’s actions “unjust” and “a bullying tactic.” He also claimed that the rival studio offered to cut him a shady deal: “I was asked by two executives at Warner Bros, which I’m happy to testify, that if I gave them the rights back to ‘The Hobbit’ they would drop the claim.”
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