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Kevin Smith Wants To Direct Unsellable Movies


Kevin Smith Miramax Take That

Kevin Smith will only take on movies that other studios have turned down.

The director is planning to quit filmmaking following the release of his next project 'Hit Somebody', but will instead distribute movies through his Smodcast Pictures company - but is only accepting submissions from "mistfit toys".

He said: "Me and Jon [Gordon] decided we would do Smodcast Pictures and pick other people's movies up. People like me from back in the day who didn't get a f**king shot at Miramax, who weren't lucky enough to get it through to Miramax's door.

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Warners Putting Up More Films On Facebook


Katherine Heigl Harry Potter Home Video Josh Duhamel Miramax The Deal

Raising the question, who needs Netflix when you've got Facebook, Warner Bros. on Sunday added five more films that can be rented via their Facebook pages using $3-4 worth of Facebook Credits (which can be purchased not only via credit cards and PayPal but also via mobile phone accounts). Significantly, one of the films, Yogi Bear, was just released on DVD and Blu-ray disc last week. Another, Life as We Know It, starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, was released on Home Video last month. The three others, two Harry Potter movies, Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets , and Christopher Nolan's Inception, boast "two of the most popular and active communities" on Facebook, noted Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. None of the titles is available for online streaming from Netflix, although all except Yogi Bear can be rented from Netflix as part of its mail service. Pricing on Facebook is still significantly higher than Netflix's $8 a month for an unlimited number of movies or Redbox's $1-a-night (but chances are you'll have to pay an additional $2 for gas just to pick up and return the disc from a Redbox kiosk). Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter reported over the weekend that Netflix is close to a deal with Miramax that would give it access to over 700 films from the studio's library. The Deal reportedly is worth about $100 million.

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Disney Finally Sells Miramax


Disney Harvey Weinstein Max B Michael Moore Miramax Mya Walt Disney

It's finally a done deal -- Walt Disney's sale of Miramax to an investors group led by construction magnate Ron Tutor, that is. The group, which includes real-estate firm Colony Capital, gave itself a new name, Filmyard Holdings, as it joined Disney in announcing the $660-million deal. Significantly, each side referred only to the Miramax library; there was no mention of the possibility of acquiring new films or instigating new productions. "We look forward to sharing this high quality content with the world in every form of media for many years to come," said Tutor. "We are delighted that we have found a home for the Miramax brand and Miramax's very highly regarded motion picture library," said Disney CEO Robert Iger. The deal closes the door on the possibility of Miramax being reclaimed by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who founded the studio, sold it to Disney, then quit in 2005 after Disney refused to distribute Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 , which went on to become the most successful documentary film of all time. The Weinsteins had brought in billionaire Ron Burkle to back them in a bid for Miramax, and, for a time, it appeared that they would succeed. But at the last minute, Burkle reduced his bid for Miramax, and Disney called off further exclusive negotiations, thereby allowing Tutor/Colony to renew their pursuit of the studio.

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Tutor Claims Thr Misquoted Him


Disney Madness Miramax

Construction magnate Ron Tutor, who is leading the group buying Miramax from Disney claims he was misquoted in a Hollywood Reporter report about his relationship with controversial investor David Bergstein. The report, written by veteran showbiz reporter Alex Ben Block, had quoted Tutor as saying that Bergstein would play no role in the new Miramax and criticizing him for "the Madness" of his past financial dealings. However, on Monday Sharon Waxman in TheWrap.com said that Tutor had fired off a letter to the Reporter saying that he did not recall saying "anything as negative as you printed in your article." He credited Bergstein for convincing him "to relook at Miramax as an outstanding transaction." Waxman said that in a second letter to Bergstein he also denied using the language attributed to him in the THR article. "We were obviously still doing business with your significant consulting role in the Disney Miramax transaction." Contacted by TheWrap, Bergstein said, "I continue to be moving the deal forward. I engineered the entire transaction and I will continue." Reporter editor Elizabeth Guider said that the trade publication was standing by its story.

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Rob Lowe To Purchase Miramax?


Rob Lowe Dreamworks Jason Bateman Jennifer Aniston Keira Knightley Miramax Pulp Queen Sam Worthington Shakespeare In Love

Rob Lowe is said to be involved in a bid to buy Miramax Films.

The 'Brothers & Sisters' actor has been linked to a deal by Tom Barrack's Colony Capital, which is among a number of bidders for the production company, responsible for movies including 'The Queen' and 'No Country for Old Men'.

An insider revealed to the New York Post: "It's fair to say Lowe's a friend of Colony and he'll be involved in some larger sense. They value his opinion and he has ideas."

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Report "Complicated" Relationship Killed Miramax Deal


Disney Miramax Walt Disney

The collapse of negotiations between the Walt Disney Co. and the Weinstein Brothers for the sale of Miramax is being attributed to the complicated financial relationship between the Weinsteins and their principal backer, billionaire Ron Burkle. According to TheWrap.com, the legal issues involved in setting up a new company to oversee Miramax proved to be overwhelming. A source told the entertainment website, "There's one company with a separate board, and there are managers managing while it isn't really their money. It was very intricate." The website did not specify what issues caused the breakdown. However, it observed, that both the Weinsteins and the Burkle group "had their own lawyers, with their own demands, making agreeing on things frustrating and unusually cumbersome for all involved."

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Lionsgate Sets Sights On Miramax


Disney Miramax

Lionsgate, which has already shown interest in acquiring MGM, is about to switch its attention to smaller fry -- Miramax, which Disney has placed on the market for a reported price of $700 milliion, the New York Post reported today (Monday), citing sources inside or close to Lionsgate. The newspaper observed that while rival studios "pursue the bigger fish, [MGM]," Lionsgate might wind up being the only bidder for Miramax, and a direct deal with Disney would be far easier to negotiate than one with the five owners and more than 100 creditors who must approve any MGM deal, the Post noted. It said that Lionsgate is not likely to bid $700 million at first because it would risk upsetting its principal stakeholder, activist investor Carl Icahn, who has previous chastised the studio's principal executives for their tactics in previous negotiations.

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Silver Lining For Director David O Russell

By on 29 March 2009

Miramax Jake Gyllenhaal Jessica Biel Lily Tomlin

Famously unpredictable director David O Russell has been signed up to direct The Silver Linings Playbook for the Weinstein Company.

The Three Kings helmer will also adapt Matthew Quick's debut novel for the New York studio, Variety reports.

The book tells of former high school teacher Pat Peoples who, following his release from a four-year stay in a mental institution, moves back in with his mother and looks to reconcile with his ex-wife.

The novel was published in September and its big screen adaptation will be produced by Michael Raimo.

No casting has yet been confirmed.

The film will be Russell's first project with the Weinsteins since 1996's Flirting With Disaster, which was released by Miramax.

Russell, who also directed Spanking the Monkey, is renowned for his unorthodox onset methods and a viral video of him berating actress Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees became an internet hit.

His most recent project, Nailed, starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal, was marred by financial problems during its shoot and is still awaiting release.

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Ben Affleck In Negotiations For Mike Judge Comedy

By on 21 August 2008

Ben Affleck Jennifer Garner Mila Kunis Miramax

Ben Affleck has signed on to flex his comedy muscles in new Mike Judge movie Extract.

The Gone Baby Gone director will play an ambulance-chasing lawyer in the upcoming film, which tells of a flower extract factory owner (Jason Bateman) with horrendous luck, according to Variety.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall actresses Mila Kunis and Kristen Wiig are already signed up for the comedy, which begins shooting on Monday in Los Angeles.

The Miramax production sees Affleck continuing his relationship with the studio, which began with his writing and starring in Good Will Hunting in 1997 and has continued up to his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, last year.

Though his work behind the camera on the Dennis Lehane adaptation was critically acclaimed, Affleck has not appeared in a significant onscreen role since 2006's biopic Hollywoodland.

However, as well as signing up for Extract, he has also completed work on romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You and political drama State of Play, a film version of the BBC series.

It was also revealed today that Affleck's wife, actress Jennifer Garner, is expecting their second daughter.

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Jet Li Thanks Tarantino For Hero Success


Jet Li Hero Quentin Tarantino Zhang Yimou Miramax Harvey Weinstein

Martial arts Hero Jet Li is so thrilled with the success of his movie HERO in America, he's taken out a full-page advertisement thanking Quentin Tarantino for transporting it from China.

The film, which is set in the third century BC, has been at the top of the American box office for the past two weekends, prompting Li, the film's director Zhang Yimou and the cast and crew to say a big thank-you to Tarantino and Miramax bosses BOB and Harvey Weinstein for making it a success.

The ad, placed in Hollywood trade publication DAILY VARIETY, reads, "We want to thank Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino and the entire Miramax team for their unbelievable efforts on Hero. They supported this film from the very beginning when they came on board as co-financiers.

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