The Weinstein Company has just struck a deal that allows them access to material left behind by Harvey and Bob Weinstein when they departed their Disney-bought Miramax Films production shingle to establish their current studio. The deal was struck between The Weinstein Company and the investment group Filmyard Holdings who currently own Miramax and its library of 700 titles.
According to the breaking Deadline story, the first priority of this new alliance are sequels to the films Rounders and the Academy Award winning Shakespeare In Love as well as television series adaptations of Good Will Hunting and Flirting With Disaster. The deal will also get into motion some projects that have been stalled in development including a Stephen Colbert-scripted comedy called The Alibi, about a service that creates excuses for cheating spouses and The Ninth Life Of Louis Drax, a project that was being developed by the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979, and built the company up to one of the preeminent independent studios in the 1980s and early `90s on the strength of such films as Sex, Lives And Videotape, The Crying Game, Clerks and Pulp Fiction. In 1993, the pair sold the company to Disney. They remained in charge but left the company in 2005 in part over Disney’s refusal to allow them to distribute Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Incoming Disney president Bob Iger was not interested much in the label and allowed it to slowly grow fallow until the studio sold Miramax to the Filmyard Holdings, which consists of Colony Capital, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority.
Harvey Weinstein is quoted saying –
I personally have never made a sequel, but I will make Shakespeare In Love as one. I’ve always wanted to do that and now we have the impetus to. There is so much intellectual property, and we’re in an age where, for however long it lasts, content is king… I’ve discussed making Rounders 2 with Matt Damon and I would say that’s going to be instantaneous. The guys [Rounders screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman] have a great idea, a way to make it more international where you start the card game in Paris, that’s all I want to say. There might be a certain beautiful Parisian actress involved in it, and then we’re off to the racetrack and Vegas with Matty and Edward Norton, and a new supervillain to replace John Malkovich.
Never made a sequel, Harv? Perhaps you are forgetting that Miramax label Dimension Films built their reputation on, among other things, the Scream films?
This is not the first time that an alliance between the two entities has been attempted. A similar plan was announced in December 2010, with plans for Rounders, Shakespeare In Love and Bad Santa sequels announced. (Ironically, that deal was also announced on December 16.) Whether all inolved will have better luck this time around than they did last time remains to be seen.