When Quentin Tarantino was running at the mouth concerning the movie we would all like to see, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, I published an article delving into the whole deal between Miramax and Disney and the future of the studio because it just didn’t make sense, and now everything I discussed as well as the future of the studios and the Weinsteins has been made official.
The Walt Disney Studios and Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein have reached a mutual agreement concluding the Weinsteins current deal with The Walt Disney Company, it was jointly announced today by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios and Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
The Weinsteins will remain co-chairs of Miramax on a non-exclusive basis through September 30, 2005. During this period, they will focus their efforts on completing projects currently in production and will oversee the marketing and distribution of Miramax and Dimension films scheduled for release. Cook will announce new management of Miramax Films in July 2005. During a transition period that will last from July through September, the Weinsteins will work with the new Miramax leadership, which will report directly to Cook. The Weinsteins will make no new financial commitments towards the development, acquisition or production of projects on behalf of Miramax.
Bob and Harvey will own and operate a new company, which is currently being developed, and they will immediately begin the production, development and acquisition of new projects for their new venture. Details about the Weinsteins new company, including its name, financial backers and other specifics, will be announced during the next several weeks.
The Walt Disney Studios will retain the name “Miramax Films” and the Miramax and Dimension film libraries, while the Weinsteins will take the Dimension label to their new company. Hmmmmm… Sounds like Tarantino’s professed Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair isn’t as clear cut as he was saying it was.
The Walt Disney Studios and the Weinsteins, through their new company, will continue their relationship by potentially collaborating on as many as 25+ projects including, but not limited to, co-productions of sequels to hit film franchises like Scary Movie and Spy Kids, and by co-financing the production and distribution of original films including Breaking and Entering and The Matador.
An announcement about the future plans for Miramax Books will be made later this week.
“Bob and Harvey are talented creative executives who have brought some of the finest award winning films to the big screen,” said Cook in making the announcement. “Through this mutually beneficial arrangement, we will continue our relationship with the Weinsteins and their new company well into the future, while focusing our efforts on Miramax.”
“Disney’s film library has benefited tremendously from the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films developed under Harvey and Bob,” said Robert A. Iger, president and chief operating officer and CEO-elect, The Walt Disney Company. “Their creative instincts are undeniable, and they have developed a valuable asset for this company. We look forward to future collaborations with them through this newly established relationship.”
“Harvey and Bob’s unprecedented 12-year association with Disney will go down in the motion picture annals for its unparalleled contributions to independent filmmaking and the entrepreneurial creative spirit they fostered within a corporate environment,” said Michael Eisner, CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “The Weinsteins’ passion and enthusiasm for film are infinite and will thrive wherever their vision takes them.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the chances we have been given at Disney over the past 12 years. As movie fans, we truly appreciate the unique opportunities we have had to work with some of the greatest talent, both on screen and off, in sharing such a wide range of independent and foreign films and Miramax and Dimension productions with audiences around the world,” said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. “We are thankful to Dick Cook for his commitment to making this agreement possible and we appreciate Bob Iger’s contributions too. We know that there is no bigger fan of our movies than Michael Eisner and think it was pretty brave of him to give us the ability to make movies like Hero and City of God. We look forward to working with Bob and Dick and everyone else at Disney on projects in the future. We’ve nurtured Miramax over the past 25 years and are proud of the valuable film library we’ve built for Disney shareholders.”
Since being acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1993, Miramax Films has received 220 Academy Award nominations, winning 3 Best Pictures and 53 total Oscars. The company received 14 Best Picture nominations for The Aviator (2004), Finding Neverland (2004), Chicago (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), In the Bedroom (2001), Chocolat (2000), The Cider House Rules (1999), Shakespeare In Love (1998), Life Is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella) (1998), Good Will Hunting (1997), The English Patient (1996), Il Postino (The Postman) (1995), Pulp Fiction (1994), and The Piano (1993).
So what should we expect in the future from the new Miramax? Word is they are going back to the original idea of smaller films for small amounts of studio backing, keeping the idea of independent film alive. And how about an NC-17 Kill Bill? I think we both know the answer to that, but let’s keep our swords crossed.