Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Harvey Weinstein Ready for a Comeback as “Lion” Mauls “Moonlight,” Mogul Sets Dates for 2018 Oscar Films


Best Picture nominee “Lion” crossed the $50 million mark in the US today. It’s made almost $125 million worldwide.

The Garth Davis directed hit represents a big comeback for The Weinstein Company, which is just shaking itself loose of a lot of films that didn’t work for one reason or another including “The Founder” and “Gold.”

“Lion” had less heat attached to it than “Manchester by the Sea” or “Moonlight.” But it wound up making more money than either of them including the latter, which won Best Picture. Among straight ahead quality dramas, “Lion” turned out to be the most popular. Both Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel reaped Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG nominations. Eight year old Sunny Pawar became a worldwide sensation. (I just hope he’s settled down at home and going to school!)

Now— after a desultory couple of years– Harvey Weinstein seems to be re-energized. In fact, Harvey has just announced a fall slate of no fewer than FIVE films that sound Oscar worthy but also like hits.

The big one is “Lion” director Garth Davis’s “Mary Magdalene” starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. “MM” will hit screens around Thanksgiving.

That will be followed by “The Current War” directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”). Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, each past Oscar nominees, star as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. The ‘war’ is about electrical current, and who put Ben Franklin’s discovery to use first. If that’s not an Oscar movie, what is?

For a late summer release, TWC has “Wind River” a thriller with Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen set for August 4th. “Hell or High Water” writer Taylor Sheridan makes his directing debut.

TWC also two more Oscar lures awaiting release dates– Diane Keaton in “Hampstead” and the US remake of “The Intouchables” called “Untouchable” with Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, and Nicole Kidman.

There’s also the long held “Tulip Fever” on August 25th with a big all star cast Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Dane DeHaan, Holliday Grainger, Judi Dench, Matthew Morrison, Tom Hollander, Cara Delevingne.

But it’s those first three, and the undated pair, that indicate TWC may come roaring back. Studio fates are certainly cyclical. And it seems like the cycle has come back to Harvey. And you know that will be fun.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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