harveyweinstein.jpgClaudia Eller wrote a great piece in yesterday's LA Times on the nine-year struggle to bring Rent to the big screen. Most of the problems had something to do with Harvey Weinstein, who won a bidding war for the rights to Jonathan Larson's musical in 1996. Weinstein asked Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Films to produce, but then thwarted Tribeca's attempts to get a project off the ground. At one point, Spike Lee actually cast the film, but Weinstein refused to unlock the budget. Weinstein today insists that the script wasn't ready ("Whatever Spike said about our differences, it was about the script and the script only.") but Lee was so offended by the experience that he vowed never to work with Weinstein again. In fact, Lee said, "I would rather sell tube socks, three for $5." Chris Columbus eventually wrangled the project out of Harvey's grubby hands, and brought it over to Sony, where he produced the film with Revolution's Joe Roth.

I saw the film yesterday, and whilst I don't want to spoil my review, I will say that Harvey and Spike are probably better off uninvolved. I'll also suggest that you pay attention to those pull-quote heavy TV ads – if look carefully, you'll see that all those blurbs come from just 2 critics.
categories Cinematical