Near the end of last week, Defamerspread the rumor that Picturehouse, once the indie arm of New Line Cinema and currently dangling from the edge of the hulking entity known as Warner Bros., has its days numbered. Now that New Line is history and Warners, like many studios, has faced increasing cutbacks, it may give short shrift to the shingles responsible for handling artier fare. Along with Picturehouse, this also includes Warner Independent Pictures, whose recent release slate includes David Gordon Green's magnificent Snow Angels.

Defamer suggested that Picturehouse president Bob Berney might wind up at WIP or head up a new, currently anonymous company. On Friday, Variety's Anne Thompson put it in more coherent terms: It appears quite likely that WIP and Picturehouse will merge together as a single company, with current WIP president Polly Cohen working alongside Berney. Whatever happens, let's just hope that the final result still leaves room for the sharp selection of independent and foreign titles that Picturehouse has handled since its birth three years ago. Defamer points out that Marion Cotillard's unexpected Oscar win for La Vie en Rose matters less than the flop of Run, Fatboy, Run, while the John Simpson-directed horror film Amusement might get dumped on DVD. It was just last year, however, that the company helped edgy fare like The Orphanage and Rocket Science get the sort of release most studios would never try. Let's hope that bravery lives on, somewhere.