According to an article by Sharon Waxman and David B. Halbfinger in today's
New York Times, Miramax will release as many as 22 films between now and October, in an effort to "clean the
pipeline" before finally severing ties with corporate parent Disney. Production has slowed to a crawl at the mini-major
in recent months, in the wake of the Weinstein Brothers' uncertainty about their corporate destiny;
Miramax has only released "about a half-dozen" pictures since October, 2004.
Many of the films to be released have been sitting in the vault for months, or even years. Among them:
Christina Ricci's passion project, an adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's depression memoir Prozac Nation, has been sold to Starz! cable network after languishing in Miramax release purgatory for nearly four years.The film, co-starring Michelle Williams and Jessica Lange, premiered at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival to very mixed reviews.
Mindhunters, a thriller from director Renny Harlin starring L.L. Cool J and Christian Slater, will hit North American theaters after a two year delay. The film has already screened in Europe.
In August or September, Miramax will release The Great Raid, a "World War II prisoner of War drama" directed by John Dahl and starring Benjamin Bratt. The $80 million film has been in re-edits for over a year.
Proof, John Madden's adaptation of the hit play starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins, was in production before Paltrow's pregnancy (her daughter Apple was born last May). The film was originally scheduled to be released in time for the current awards season, but has been mysteriously "delayed". It should see the light of the cineplex by the end of this year.
The NYT article also confirmed what has been suspected, that the stable of once-indie directors that have become synonymous with the Miramax name - including Quentin Tarrantino, Anthony Minghella, and Kevin Smith - will follow the Weinsteins on to their next venture. Smith told the Times that the production of his Clerks sequel, The Passion of the Clerks, is on hold until decisions are made regarding the Weinsteins' future.