Hollywood Nastiness: ‘Reader’ Trouble as Rudin Bails

Kate Winslet in The Reader
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

About nine days ago I pointed to a story at Deadline Hollywood in which Harvey Weinstein was painted as quite a nasty fella as he allegedly harrassed the widow of the late Anthony Minghella as well as Sydney Pollack while on his deathbed, all in relation to getting The Reader (12/12) into theaters in time for an Oscar run.

We also recently learned of a deal struck between Reader producers Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin with director Stephen Daldry to get the film completed in time for a December 12 release. Rudin and Weinstein released a joint statement stating the fact and Daldry did the same. Word today from Patrick Goldstein at the Los Angeles Times says the negotiations involved “Weinstein putting up more money for round-the-clock editing, scoring sessions and optical work.” However, it seems negotiations have taken a turn for the worse.

Goldstein is reporting Rudin has walked away from the picture ans has removed his name from the film. Rudin is reportedly concerned such bitter negotiations and dealings may cause “his long-standing talent relationships [to] be harmed.”

Of course, this leaves Daldry contractually obligated to complete the film and I will let Goldstein tell you the rest:

There have been constant rumors that the Weinstein Co., whose hits have been few and far between, has financial problems which may have contributed to Rudin’s departure. It’s also possible that the two men simply can’t put their personal differences aside long enough to get the movie into theaters. Whatever the root cause, this is another body blow to “The Reader,” which loses a strong producer who is always a major force during awards season. Rudin will continue as producer of two other year-end pictures, “Revolutionary Road” and “Doubt.”

No matter how you look at it Daldry comes out the loser in this mess. His film is highly anticipated and is expected to be serious Oscar bait with the likes of Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes starring and Daldry’s last film, The Hours earning nine Oscar nominations and one win for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress. To say it is expected to be a serious contender is an understatement, but where it will end up now after this mess is unknown.