Director Martin Scorsese’s historical drama Gangs of New York is getting the TV treatment. The 2002 film, which chronicled the gang prevalence in 19th century New York, was the culmination of over twenty years of development, as an adaptation of Herbert Asbury’s 1928 book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld had been a passion project for the filmmaker for years.
The massive three-year production of the film wasn’t exactly a smooth ride, with Scorsese battling for artistic freedom while encountering production delays, budget overruns, and the ire of Harvey Weinstein. Even so, the finished product is an entertaining piece of period filmmaking that boasts a wonderfully devilish performance from Daniel Day-Lewis and some truly breathtaking production design. Hit the jump for more on the prospect of a Gangs of New York TV show.
Miramax, the studio that the Weinsteins built, has been the home of some of the modern era’s best indie films including Pulp Fiction, Clerks, sex, lies and videotape, and many many more. Keeping true to their distribution roots, Miramax is teaming with Hulu Plus to offer hundreds of films from their back catalog to the online streaming service. The Wrap reports that Hulu Plus subscribers will be able to watch the films commercial-free, but if you’re the type that doesn’t like spending money (like me), then you should be happy to know that the old-fashioned ad-supported Hulu will be offering a rotating selection of Miramax films, with commercials included. It marks the first time that the films will be offered through an ad-supported streaming site.
Netflix Watch Instantly is not only the best thing since sliced bread, it is so great that future great things must now be called “the best thing since Netflix Watch Instantly”. However, as competitors rise and studios become more wary of cutting into their revenue from rentals, Netflix must constantly find new titles to add to its expanding library. Reuters reports that Netflix is close to a $100 million deal with Miramax to stream the studio’s 700+ titles for the next five years.
Here are just a few of the films that could be coming to Netflix if this deal works out: Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Flirting with Disaster, Chasing Amy, Jackie Brown, Rounders, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and City of God. Yeah, you can take a back seat, Sliced Bread.
Before Miramax underwent a new business deal, Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was scheduled to open on January 21, 2011 (you can see the teaser trailer here). Unfortunately, in October the Guillermo del Toro-produced/co-written horror flick dropped off the schedule and went into release-limbo. THR now reports that FilmDistrict has come to the rescue and will distribute the film on August 12th. However, the film will have some stiff competition. Also getting released on that date is 30 Minutes or Less, the new comedy from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer that stars Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, and Danny McBride; and Tate Taylor’s adaptation of The Help starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, and Bailee Madison.
The Debt was originally scheduled to come out at the end of last year (you can watch the trailer here), but the prolonged Miramax deal left the drama on the shelf without a release date (same for the other remaining Miramax title, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark). The Debt has now found a home at Focus Features, which will release the flick on August 31st.
Hit the jump to check out the press release. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), The Debt features an impressive cast that includes Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Ciarán Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) wrote the screenplay with Peter Straughan.
Tribeca Film and Miramax have just sent out a press release announcing their plans to release the drama Last Night this Spring. The film premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and stars Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, and Guillaume Canet. Tribeca Film will distribute the film theatrically and also through national VOD platforms. Miramax will handle home video, television sales, and long-term digital rights.
Last Night “centers on a married couple (Knightley and Worthington) apart for an evening when the husband takes a business trip with a colleague (Mendes) to whom he’s attracted. While he’s resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love (Canet).” Hit the jump for the full press release.
Earlier today, we told you about how a Disney-less Miramax had teamed up with former Miramax owners Bob and Harvey Weinstein to develop sequels based on some of the more successful titles in the Miramax library. One of those titles that was mentioned in the press release was Kevin Smith’s debut Clerks. While it’s hard to believe that the Brothers Weinstein would move forward with a Clerks sequel without Smith’s involvement, they do have the right to do so. After the news broke, Smith took to his twitter to give his two-cents on the subject, as well as some interesting information on the rights of his other titles. On the subject of Clerks, Smith had this to say:
I guess if someone was going to exploit the library for sequels, remakes, tv, I’d rather it be the devil I know. Nice to know there’s a home for ‘Clerks III’ if I ever wanted to make it, but hope it doesn’t become a home for a Clerks-anything if I’m not involved.
Hit the jump for more from Smith, including what would happen if Miramax decided they wanted to make another Jay and Silent Bob film, and some humorous musings on a Jersey Girl sequel.
When Bob and Harvey Weinstein left Miramax (the company they founded) back in 2003, they lost the sequel rights to the majority of titles that they produced in their prolific 24-year history with the company. Well, today it seems the Weinsteins and Miramax are back together again, sort of. Now that Disney no longer owns Miramax, the Weinsteins’ former company is happy to deal with the brothers who created the studio in the first place. In what way do you ask? Well, to make unnecessary sequels to every successful Miramax film ever made, of course!
Miramax and The Weinstein Company have partnered to “create sequels to some of Miramax’s best-known properties and to partner on potential new television shows and special edition home entertainment properties.” The first films to be produced will be sequels to Bad Santa, Rounders, and Shakespeare in Love. Hit the jump to check out the list of films that the companies are planning sequels for (Swingers! Clerks!), statements from the Weinsteins, and why this may not be all bad news.
The buy-out of Miramax has caused an unfortunate delay for two of its upcoming films. John Madden’s The Debt starring Sam Worthington was slated for December 29th while the Guillermo del Toro-produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark starring Katie Holmes was set for January 21, 2011. Both films have now been postponed indefinitely while the logistics of the Miramax deal continue to be hammered out and, per The Playlist, “construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital — put together their new shingle, Filmyard.”
Hit the jump for a synopsis on The Debt and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Both films look great so hopefully we’ll be seeing these films before too long.
Miramax has debuted the first trailer for The Debt, a remake of the 2007 Israeli thriller of the same name. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), The Debt posits Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, and Ciaran Hinds as older versions of the characters played by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Csokas. Check out the trailer and synopsis after the jump.
Miramax was a major part in the rise of the indie films in the late-80s, early-90s. It’s difficult not to note the irony of the closing of Miramax coming at the end of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Sundance became a hot spot for the buying of the potential “next big thing” in the indie film world. Keep in mind, this was back when a film could be truly independent and yet founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein (the name was a tribute to their parents, Miriam and Max), arguably the last of the movie moguls, could push artists like Kevin Smith and Steven Soderbergh and get their work into the mainstream. Also, they could call Errol Morris boring and threaten to resolve the situation with an Errol Morris impersonator. But that day passed long ago and while the success of Sundance lives on, Miramax, the scrappy studio bought buy Disney in 1993 and abandoned by the Weinsteins in 2005, is dead. The Wrap reports that the New York and Los Angeles offices are closed and eighty people are now out of work. The six movies they have awaiting distribution such as Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, and Last Night starring Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley, will see a very limited release at best and sit on the shelf forever at worst.
Hit the jump for more on Miramax’s passing.