About a year after subsuming most of its activities into the Sony corporate beast, MGM is close to setting up deals with the Weinstein Company and other indie studios and acquisition houses to independently distribute films. Over at Variety, Nicole Laporte is reporting that studios are interested in pacting with the House That Louis B. Meyer built in order to have total control over marketing in both the theatrical and DVD realms. MGM, meanwhile, is looking for content to shore up their library, primarily in terms of meeting new CEO Harry Sloane's mandate to aggressively pursue new digital outlets. Negotiations with the studios seem to be pretty far along, with Weinstein apparently committed to sending at least five films down the MGM pipeline this year. But the first distribution adventure for MGM looks like it's going to be Harsh Times, the Iraq-veteran drama starring Christian Bale that new player Bauer Martinez picked up at Toronto and plays to release this spring.