As you've heard, Summit Entertainment has been sniffing around the catalog and apparently there are "seven to 10 interested bidders" on the Mirmax stock which includes, "$700 million for the Miramax name and its 700-film library." Apparently The Weinstein Company are not part of these bidders and with that pricetag, you can see why.
According to the Times there are apparently six leftover Miramax films and the are:, "The Baster," Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," "Tell Me" (or "Last Night") "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark," John Madden's "The Debt" and "Gnomeo and Juliet." All of these films are completed and three of these are listed currently on the Miramax site, except that "Gnomeo and Juliet" an animated film apparently starring the voices of Emily Blunt and James McAvoy, was announced in August of 2008. IMDB says the film is currently "filming" but IMDB is also notoriously unreliable for facts like this. But here are details on the five remaining, finished films. Where will they land? Your guess is as good as ours.
"Tell Me" formerly known as "Last Night" - Miramax - dir. Massy Tadjedin
Synopsis: Monogamy is challenged. A married couple (Keira Knightley & Sam Worthington), spend a night apart; the husband takes a business trip with a colleague (Eva Mendes) to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting his temptation, his wife encounters her past lover (French actor Guillaume Canet).
What You Need To Know: A film that features Sam Worthington and no explosions or bullets? Isn't this impossible? This is the directorial debut of the screenwriter behind "The Jacket" (psychological thriller with Knightley and Adrien Brody) and "Leo" (a Southern gothic-type film with Elisabeth Shue and Joseph Fiennes). We'll be honest, this totally flew under our radar until we started looking at 2010 release dates. We're mildly curious. Maybe just for the fact to see what it's like to watch Sam Worthington act next to things that aren't green screen puppets.
Release Date? Studio?: It was supposed to be March 19, but will that happen now? Fox Searchlight, do you care?
"The Baster" - dir. Will Speck and Josh Gordon
Synopsis: An unmarried 40-year-old woman (Jennifer Aniston) turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. Seven years later, she reunites with her best friend (Jason Bateman), who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own.
What You Need To Know: While yes, it sounds like it could be a conventional, wacky-type rom com, the Baster is actually based on a story by celebrated author Jeffrey Eugenides ("The Virgin Suicides," "Middlesex") and the script, written by Allan Loeb ("Things We Lost in the Fire," "Wall Street 2"), was one of the most favored 2008 Blacklist screenplays. Aniston does a lot of average work, but when faced with strong material (think "Office Space" or the "The Good Girl"), she can be exemplary. Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, and Jeff Goldblum co-star. Our main concern is Speck and Gordon are the directing duo that brought us the Will Ferrell dud, "Blades Of Glory." Let's hope they don't round off the edges of a smart script.
Release Date? Studio?: August 20, 2010 was once the set date. Maybe Universal might want this?
"The Tempest" - dir. Julie Taymor
Synopsis: In this gender-bending take on Shakespeare's play, Prospera (Helen Mirren) and her daughter (Felicity Jones) are joined on an isolated isle by the sorceress's enemies.
What You Need To Know: This is director Julie Taymor's second big-screen stab at Shakespeare (after 1999's "Titus"), and she's already directed a stage version of "The Tempest" back in the 1980s. We like Taymor's take on the classic character (and the brilliant casting of the versatile, still sexy Mirren), and if the director's previous work, both good ("Frida") and bad ("Across the Universe"), is any indication, audiences are at least in for a visual treat. Russell Brand, Chris Cooper, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw, David Strathairn and Reeve Carney co-star.
Release Date? Studio?: TBD 2010. Does Focus Features have extra cash lying around?
"Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" - dir. Troy Nixey
Synopsis: A young girl moves in with her father and his new girlfriend only to find their mansion haunted by tiny demons.
What You Need To Know: This is a remake of a 1970's TV movie that curtailed the gore and scares for mainstream consumption but was actually pretty scary for its time. The original story, which must have made a big impact on the remake's writers Guillermo Del Toro and Matthew Robbins, followed a couple getting used to the fearsome goblins hiding behind every nook and cranny of their cavernous new place, but Del Toro loves his child protagonists, so this version, anchored by Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, will be much different. Del Toro has passed the directorial baton to Nixey, a first-timer and popular internet personalty, so this is nerd-bait all the way, but we hope Del Toro, who has made a series of films about the macabre that aren't actually that scary, has regained his interest in scares instead of coming-of-age parables.
Release Date? Studio?: Guillermo del Toro has ties with... Disney. Maybe?
"The Debt"- Miramax Films - dir. John Madden
Synopsis: A shocking rumor throws the lives of three retired Mossad agents, considered heroes for their assassination of a Nazi war criminal, into turmoil, exposing a love triangle and a dark secret.
What You Need To Know: A remake of the 2007 Israeli film of the same name, we were pleasantly surprised when we read the script to this — it's by writing team Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman ("Stardust", "Kick-Ass") and it's certainly the best thing they've written. Part thriller, part dark romantic drama, the cast is pretty high caliber, with Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas and hotly-tipped young star Jessica Chastain playing the young agents, and Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson and Helen Mirren playing their older equivalents. It's a great role for Mirren, and we're interested how Worthington fares away from the big-budget sci-fi that's been his calling card so far. The main question mark comes with John Madden, whose record in thrillers is patchy, as "Killshot" evinced.
Release Date: TBD, we could see a Lionsgate or Summit being interested in this one.
Out of all of these, "The Baster," Blacklist script favorite is probably the most attractive, "The Tempest" after that and "The Debt" looking like something that could go straight to DVD (it's been done for a while we understand). Studios? Anyone wanna buy a completed film? Your move.