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Dateline: 12 February 2002

Oscar Bound!

BBC Films, Intermedia Films and Miramax Films present a Mirage Enterprises/Scott Rudin/Robert Fox Production of a Richard Eyre Film.
We are happy to announce that another Minghella film is Oscar bound! 
Academy  Award-winner  Judy Dench (Shakespeare In Love) has been nominated for best actress in the role of writer Irish Murdoch and Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet (Titanic) for best supporting actress in the role of the younger Irish Murdoch!

 Iris, based on John Bayley’s books, ‘Iris - A Memoir’ and ‘Elegy for Iris’, with a screenplay by Eyre and Charles Woodthe  tells the story of the  enduring and  loving relationship between novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley .

Judi Dench and Kate Winslet portray Iris Murdoch during two distinct periods of her life, while Jim Broadbent and Hugh Bonneville play the older and younger John Bayley.

‘Iris’ is co-financed by BBC Films, Intermedia Films and Miramax Films.  Mr. Minghella served as the film's Executive Producter  along with  Sydney Pollack
Guy East,  David Thompson, Tom Headley and Harvey Weinstein.

For more information on the film visit the BBC Films web page 
Congratulations from the Storyteller web masters!


From the 7/7 N.Y. Post, Business section...
RABBIT REDUX: WEINSTEIN'S COTTON TALE
By PAUL THARP

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is teaming up with money-losing MGM to split the costs for making eight new flicks - starting with the remake of the 1950 hit, "Harvey," and the movie version of the top-selling book, "Cold Mountain."

Hollywood's top leading men and ladies have put in bids for starring roles in the two pictures, since they could become clear Oscar contenders. Weinstein's Miramax is already the leading studio for Oscar wins this decade, with a total of 40.

Vying for the lead of "Harvey" (whose original star was Jimmy Stewart) are Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and Adam Sandler. In the Civil War era novel "Cold Mountain," Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are competing for the male lead, while stars Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman are after the heroine's role, sources close to the company say.

With movie production costs regularly breaking the $60-million mark, MGM and Miramax - the king of lower-cost movies - say they can now afford to expand production and control rising costs.

Weinstein owns re-make rights to the film "Harvey," which his brother and partner Bob Weinstein purchased for him. MGM owns movie rights for the best-selling novel.

Miramax gets U.S. distribution rights on the first two movies, and MGM gets the international sales. They'll alternate on the rest of the lineup.

Weinstein said that the group will be able to delve into MGM's huge library of 5,000 movies - the world's largest - and develop the other six movies in the pact, based on the original story or on just a single character of a film.

"We look at this as a great opportunity to borrow Miramax's development, production and marketing capability and apply that against our library," said MGM Chief Operating Officer Chris McGurk.

"Cold Mountain" will be written and directed by Anthony Minghella, whose credits include "The English Patient," a Miramax-backed winner of nine Oscars.

MGM hasn't posted a profit in years, and is undergoing a restructuring ordered by MGM's controlling stockholder billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. McGurk and Chief Executive Alex Yemenidjian were picked by Kerkorian to turn around the studio.

McGurk said the deal with Miramax was aimed at keeping its film production pipeline filled with movies in years to come. Generally, movies can take two years or more to complete through pre-production,
shooting and editing.

McGurk said the company's goal was to distribute 10 to 15 movies a year under the MGM banner, with another 10 coming from its United Artists film label, which it is remaking into a specialty film unit much like
Miramax. MGM's major movie this year will be a new "James Bond" picture, due in theaters this November. Miramax isn't a part of that release.

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EDITOR"S NOTE : No word on whether Mr. Minghella has signed on to direct the new Harvey! ;-)

 

In the Works!

Saul Zaentz

Zaentz Company to Partner with the Jim Henson Company!

 

Anthony Minghella and Saul Zaentz are back in business again! According to Variety, the Zaentz company and the Jim Henson Company will partner to co-produce a feature film based on an original screenplay by Mr. Minghella, which is yet to be titled. Mr. Minghella will not direct this production.

The films plot is centered around a man whose marriage is on the rocks and feels suicidal. The man's life is saved by the seven deadly sins, who convince him to live life according to their passions.

The film will use a mixture of animaltronics and CGI to portray the seven deadly sins. Production is expected to begin late spring or early summer of next year.

For further details go to:

 

Jim Henson Site

 

* * * * *

Rumors and Rumblings!

Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt are all reportedly salivating over the lead in Anthony Minghella's adaptation of the best-selling novel ''Cold Mountain,'' according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's premature for auditions,though, because Minghella is just starting to write the script based on the National Book Award winner.... This book is incredible! (Thanks Robyn!)

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