‘Bowl’ not so golden for Miramax

Merchant Ivory reclaims domestic rights to pic

Miramax Films will not release Merchant Ivory Prods.’ “The Golden Bowl” in North America, with domestic rights on the James Ivory-helmed film returning to Merchant Ivory.

A statement released by Miramax said that Merchant Ivory has found another distributor for the title, but the production company refused to comment further on specific details of the pic’s future.

Agreement concludes a schism between Miramax and Merchant Ivory that arose after “Golden Bowl” received tepid audience and critical response during its world preem at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

When Miramax could not reach an accord with Merchant Ivory on recutting the 134-minute film to a length that the studio believed more palatable for American audiences, the two indies agreed to disagree.

“After encountering creative differences in connection with the planned release, it was mutually agreed that Miramax would defer to Merchant Ivory’s vision of the film,” said a statement released by Miramax. “With this agreement, partners Ismail Merchant and James Ivory have had the opportunity to seek a new distributor, which they have found.”

Miramax and Merchant Ivory have collaborated once before, on the 1990 pic “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

“The Golden Bowl” stars Uma Thurman, Anjelica Huston and Nick Nolte. Frequent Merchant Ivory collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala adapted Henry James’ 1904 novel about a rich American widower and his married daughter whose husband has an affair with the widower’s young new wife.

The film’s co-producer, TF1, handles the title’s international sales.

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