The Toronto Film Festival only just got underway yesterday, but Dimension Films has already made a fairly major acquisition. Per Deadline, Bob Weinstein’s genre studio is nearing a deal to distribute two projects produced by Hostel director Eli Roth: Aftershock and Clown. Roth co-wrote and also stars in Aftershock, which is an earthquake thriller that’s set to screen at the festival.
Clown hasn’t yet begun production, but the film actually spawned from an incredibly creepy fan-made trailer that went viral and piqued Roth’s interest. The story centers on a loving father who dons a clown outfit and make-up to perform at his son’s sixth birthday, only to later discover the costume — red nose and wig included — will not come off. The distribution deals apparently guarantee a wide release for each film, so this is big news for Roth. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for Clown.
Starz has journeyed back to Rome and Camelot with a couple of their original series, and now the cable network is heading into the past again for Marco Polo, a new epic series about the legendary 13th century explorer from Hidalgo writer John Fusco and executive producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Ben Silverman. Described as a martial arts epic, the series will follow Polo’s adventures throughout his early years in the court of Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire. Acting as the ruler’s spy, ambassador and explorer, Marco treks across the Far East and returns with tales of his journeys. In a court filled with political betrayal and forbidden relationships, Marco must use his martial arts training to survive, but it is his ability to enchant Khan with imaginative tales of his kingdom that is often his best tool to stay alive.
It definitely sounds like a side of Marco Polo that hasn’t been explored on the big or small screen, but it seems strange to think of Polo as a martial arts expert. Sounds a little bit like 13th century Jason Bourne without the identity crisis. Starz has had great success with Spartacus, but I haven’t found myself being drawn to their original content as much as networks like HBO or Showtime. However, they show no signs of slowing down in their efforts to complete with the Emmy nominated giants. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Although Scream 4 served as a helpful reminder that we didn’t really need another Scream movie, apparently not everyone got the message. Because the film grossed $97 million worldwide off a $40 million budget (plus P&A), director Wes Craven believes Scream 5 could be on the way. The director tells Movieweb:
The odds are that there will be (a Scream 5). It is something that Bob Weinstein wants to do. He tends to do what he wants to do. So I am inclined to think that there will be (another sequel). Whether I will be a part of it or not? I don’t know. My contract gives me the first look. If they show me something that is really wonderful? Of course I will be a part of it.
Back in April 2010, we reported that Craven was already signed for Scream 5 and Scream 6, but it now appears that he simply had first-look deals rather than a firm commitment to helm a new trilogy. Hit the jump for more details.
Fahrenheit 9/11 remains the only documentary to break $100 million at the domestic box office, and stands at the top of the format with $222 million worldwide. Surely there was a lot of money to be made from that venture, and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore claims he still hasn’t received his due. Moore filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court earlier today that accuses producerial brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein of “Hollywood accounting tricks” and “financial deception” that cheated the director out of at least $2.7 million.
The suit cites a 2008 audit that discovered gross irregularities in the accounting at the expense of Mr. Moore, and further claims the alleged damages could be even higher than $2.7 million if a more thorough audit were possible. After the jump, read statements from both sides.
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.
Wes Craven will begin shooting Scream 4 this spring. Variety reports that they’ve set a release date of April 12, 2011. Fun fact: Scream 3 opened on February 4, 2000. And yet Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox are all set to reprise their roles and join a cast of younger actors. Said Weinstein Company co-chairman Bob Weinstein:
“‘Scream’ has been such an integral part of Dimension’s history, and I look forward to continuing the franchise.”
I look forward to it as well because it’s not like Scream was originally a critique on the slasher genre until it became what it was criticizing. Sadly, nothing will beat the first film since it had Skeet Ulrich stabbing himself.
[Update: You can now read the full press release 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.
Dimension Films chairman, Bob Weinstein, has now updated us on all of the projects that are currently being set up right now over at the studio. What makes this update interesting, and also kind of sad, is that they are all either a sequel or a remake. We now have updates on “Scream 4″, “Spy Kids 4″, “Halloween 3″, and a couple of other projects which include some remakes. To read up on these updates and to find out which one of your favorite films is being remade next, just click on the jump.
With Quentin Tarantino’s new movie “Inglourious Basterds” set to invade theaters August 21st, the Weinstein Company has released 9 movie clips and about 10 minutes of behind the scenes footage from when they were filming the movie. If you want to be spoiler free, this is not the article for you. But if you’re looking for a taste of the new Tarantino movie right now, you’ve come to the right place.
I saw a screening yesterday and have to say…it’s great. The film takes tons of surprising left and right turns, and if you’re a cinefile, there are tons of movie references you’ll appreciate. But with this being a Tarantino movie, would you expect anything less? Also, while all the performances were top notch, Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa is a whole other level. You’ll see what I mean in a few weeks. Until then, watch the clips after the jump: