Weinsteins show in Cannes there's life after Disney- Reuters- 5/13/05
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CANNES, France (Reuters) - Bob and Harvey Weinstein are proving there is life after Disney.
The Hollywood powerbrokers' new company, formed when they agreed in March to split from Disney's Miramax Films, has come to the annual Film Festival in Cannes with deals in mind.
The Weinstein Co., as it is known, has snapped up North American rights to a $40 million movie project "Stormbreaker," based on the fictional hero of Anthony Horowitz's series of novels about 14-year-old superspy Alex Rider.
The Weinsteins are also expected to wear their Miramax hats while at the world's most important film festival, having agreed to continue producing films in conjunction with Disney after they leave Miramax at the end of September. The split ended a fiery relationship between the brothers and Disney's outgoing Chief Executive Michael Eisner, which burst into public many times, notably last year when the entertainment conglomerate refused to release Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
That film won the coveted Cannes Palme d'Or in 2004.
"As soon as I wrote 'Stormbreaker' I knew that I had somehow, by luck rather than judgment, keyed into something that was something very now, and exciting and happening," Horowitz, who will write the screenplay, told Reuters.
"Hollywood was coming to me largely because so many producers and directors in Hollywood had kids who were telling them about Alex Rider.
"As soon as you are talking about a very large movie and an even bigger franchise, of course when you've got people like the Weinsteins involved, you realize you are actually not quite so important as you were when you started."
It is expected that while in Cannes, the Weinsteins will attend a 20-minute screening of director Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm," a Miramax Dimension film set to open in the United States in July.
Miramax's "Sin City," starring Bruce Willis and Clive Owen, is in the main competition at Cannes this year.
The Weinsteins appear to have no difficulty multi-tasking along the famous Cannes seafront strip, the Croisette.
"We're excited about juggling Miramax and the Weinstein Company projects," they were quoted as saying in the film industry publication Hollywood Reporter. "There are over 25 joint projects with Disney."