Harvey Weinstein probably has a lot to be thankful for, but he has to be especially thankful for filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell whose 2012 movies Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook were so successful they helped The Weinstein Company roll into the Cannes Film Festival with a nice healthy bank ledger and allowed them to leave the festival with six movies acquired, as well as two for the multi-platform RADiUS-TWC.
Deadline is reporting on the latest two acquisitions, the first being the U.S. distribution rights for Todd Haynes’ upcoming movie Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt,” starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, about a controversial lesbian romance in the ’50s between two women from different walks of life. Haynes just signed on to direct this past week with plans to start filming in the fall. The material seems right up the alley of the filmmaker behind Far From Heaven, and The Weinstein Company released Haynes’ last movie, the Bob Dylan tribute I’m Not There.
The Weinstein Company has also bought the U.S distribution rights to The Young and Prodigious Spivet, a new combination live action and 3D-animated film from Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet based on the children’s book by Reif Larsen. The cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Maillet, Niamh Wilson, Judy Davis and the ever-present Dominique Pinon. It’s also only his second movie done in English. The story involves a 12-year-old cartographer who secretly leaves his familys ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother, to travel across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.
“Spivet” is scheduled for release in France in October. No word when The Weinstein Company will release it, but this isn’t the first time they’ve been involved with a live action CG-animated movie having released Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Invisibles in January, 2007. (You can check out the first international trailer for the movie here.)
The other movies that The Weinstein Company picked up at Cannes include Stephen Frears’ Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench, which will be added to the Weinsteins’ 2013 Oscar slate. They picked up the distribution rights to the long-in-development Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon sci-fi romance Passengers, as well as the Michelle Williams film Suite Francaise while also getting on board with Relativity Media to pick up the rights to Gavin O’Connor’s Western Jane Got a Gun.