Harvey Weinstein Considers Dropping ‘Grace of Monaco’ Before Cannes Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

Harvey Weinstein Dropping grace of monaco

Nicole Kidman biopic might need to find another U.S. distributor

Harvey Weinstein is considering dropping U.S. distribution rights to “Grace of Monaco” just two weeks before the Nicole Kidman biopic is scheduled to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Variety has learned.

The problem, according to sources, is that Weinstein is still unsatisfied with the version of the film that the Cannes jury selected to open the festival on May 14.

Director Olivier Dahan (“La Vie En Rose”) has said his film is completed. The two sides have been at a standstill since last year, when “Grace” was originally scheduled for a November 2013 theatrical release in time for Oscars season. A second release date of March 2014 also was missed.

Among Weinstein’s notes, Variety has learned: He wants the film to expand upon the time Grace Kelly (Kidman) spent in Hollywood and provide further context for the political situation in Monaco, a French principality blockaded by Charles de Gaulle during the early years of Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier III (played by Tim Roth).

It’s unclear if these extra scenes exist or would have to be reshot. Though the project was not conceived with Oscar ambitions in mind, Weinstein seems to think that he can make it into an awards contender, a la 2011’s “My Week With Marilyn” starring Michelle Williams.

According to France’s “droit d’auteur,” French directors are legally entitled to final cut of their films, though “Grace’s” producers are still open to allowing a Weinstein-edited version in the United States. Distributors in other territories are said to be happy with the festival version of the film produced by Uday Chopra and YRF Entertainment, with the release date in France (via Gaumont) pegged to its May 14 premiere in Cannes, and other major territories rolling out over the following three weeks.

Last fall, the Weinstein Co. announced that “Grace” was delayed because it wasn’t ready, even though a completed version of the movie had been shown at a private New York screening.

In October, the behind-the-scenes bickering went public, when Dahan said in an interview with the French newspaper Liberation that he would fight to keep his version of the picture. “It’s right to struggle, but when you confront an American distributor like Weinstein, not to name names, there is not much you can do,” Dahan said at the time. “Either you say, ‘Go figure it out with your pile of shit’ or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn’t as violent.”

If the Weinstein Co. bails, it could be a blessing in disguise for producers Arash Amel and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who could then offer the biopic to another U.S. distributor. As it is, “Grace” is just one of many projects caught in limbo at TWC, where stories of “Harvey Scissorhands” have reached a fever pitch, affecting everything from “The Grandmaster” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” last summer to upcoming “Snowpiercer” (which is finally opening on June 27 as the director’s cut), “The Immigrant” (receiving a modest four-screen release on May 16 with limited advertising support) and “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet” (still undated).

A press release from the Weinstein Co. sent to journalists last week about the company’s Cannes efforts omitted “Grace of Monaco” and instead touted the re-edited version of “Eleanor Rigby,” which premiered at Toronto as two back-to-back features (“His” and “Hers”) last September.

The Weinstein Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Weinstein is expected to make a final decision this week.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 36

Leave a Reply

36 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Joyce Tyler says:

    Is this Variety or TMZ?

  2. Sally de Cali says:

    Elitists are the only ones who give a big GD if the participants of these move spate live or die.

  3. White clowns says:

    Maybe Harvey was upset because it didn’t deplore the gun violence that is so often evident in many of his other films.

  4. CHasseur says:

    ah Gee. .. that’s a shame. I was really looking forward to ignoring this. I was very hopreful that this would be the same rousing success as Lohan playing Liz Taylor. Non actresses portraying actresses is probably one of my favorite movie genres. they are as spiritually enriching as a 2 hour toy commercials about cars that turn into robots.

    You know what I think Weinstein really ought to produce–get an actress to portray Nicole Kidman. I’m thinking there’s got to be somebody out there with the chops to pull that one off. Maybe Lohan.

  5. Charles says:

    Wonder what artistic virtue Kidman can muster after challenges dealt in ‘Eyes wide Shut’

  6. ThAT COMMIE OINKERS UNHAPPINESS DELIGHTS ME.

  7. Daisy D says:

    Big Mistake to have chosen a woman who is best suited to acting the part of a blowzy waitress working at a truck stop to play Grace Kelly. But not surprising that Weinstein can’t tell the difference between Kidman and Kelly.

  8. Jane S. says:

    Kidman is a HORRIBLE actress. She acts with her mouth open and there’s always dead air around her. You are always aware that she is “acting”-if you can call it that.

  9. Another movie that only the Hollyweird elite will watch at Champaign parties and then nominate it for 10 Oscars.

  10. ThatsMr2You says:

    I’m no fan of Harvey Weinstein; in fact I can’t stand him. But I do respect him as a producer. You can’t argue that he doesn’t deliver results as a producer. He’s brought some great movies to the screen, What’s the old saying, “money talks and bull sh*t walks.”

  11. Paladin says:

    Imagined greatness is temporal… I suppose Harv, by his own estimation, is good lookin,’ bullet proof, wealthy, invisible & bullet proof… factors which guarantee enshrinement in the constellations!!!

  12. Ban says:

    Harvey thinks he’s Louis B. Mayer…meanwhile, he’s an intellectually challenged garbage monger who is concerned with nothing other than his own power, vs. the art of filmmaking. Crassness thy name is Harvey Weinstein.

  13. Joveyjan says:

    Maybe Prince Albert put the kibosh on it at Cannes, if he has that kind of influence. He and his sisters are said not to be very happy about the project. I have always been interested in that family but the preview looked bad. I cannot see Kidman as Grace and the guy playing Ranier doesn’t look anything like him. I have no interest in the film. I can’t see Americans being all that interested in it.

  14. curious says:

    I wonder if Kidman will use “scheduling commitments” as an excuse to avoid the Cannes opening and worldwide embarrassment.

  15. JoBeth says:

    Harvey’s going to enter ‘Grace’ at Cannes (2013). Harvey’s going to release ‘Grace’ in March (2014). Harvey’s going to open Cannes with ‘Grace’ (2014. Harvey’s fighting with the director, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, Nicole’s upset his highness in some way. He had her jumping through hoops at Cannes last year and maybe she finally decided she had enough of the arrogant womanizer.

    • guest says:

      Weinstein has seen ‘DisGrace of Monaco’ and FINALLY realized Nicole Kidman has ruined her face with BOTOX and CANNOT ACT. No point throwing good money after bad.

  16. Spencer says:

    I did see Jean Pierre Jeunet’s film, The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet at the San Sebastian Film festival last September. Probably one of the best films I saw in the past year. Jeunet delivered such a beautiful film. There is not one frame that should be changed with Jeunet’s SPIVET….He brought poetry to the 3D medium. Maybe Weinstein is having a senior moment…

  17. Spencer says:

    Directed by Harvey Weinstein??? Weinstein should retire. Enough of his bullying. He is known to ruin works of art by some of our finest directors. Why do we let this tacky egomaniac destroy artistic visions of our community? Basta…

  18. enn says:

    This is so no true. Desperate attempt at publicity.

  19. sorry says:

    If this is a Weinstein publicity ploy, to build anticipation for the movie, it will not work. Nicole Kidman repels audiences and has for years.

  20. Babba Lou says:

    Harvey recut the Mark Waters film VAMPIRE ACADEMY. He made the Indian company spend a million dollars for unneeded reshoots. This funny and clever film based on a bestselling series of books had FIVE offers at Berlin- they went with TWC. TWC lost their shirts on the film. He recuts everything in a desperate need to validate self worth.

  21. Spike says:

    What’s the matter, Harvey? Cash flow too low to distibute Grace of Monaco too? That’s what I’m suspecting is underneath all the noise you’re making.

  22. Connor says:

    From the sounds of it there may be a logic to what Harvey is asking for with regard to more background context on Grace’s journey from Hollywood to Monaco. Few of us know the story and just because the movie may play at Cannes is no indication of it’s playability in the US. Remember, this is a man who brought some great movies from Europe to America in the 90s – via Miramax – and made them accessible to audiences who otherwise may have stayed home. Cannes, for all intents and purposes, IS Monaco! Of course they are going to ‘get’ it with less narrative. But if I am not a Hollywood-phile and I am watching the movie in New Jersey or a suburb of Boston or even L.A for that matter, I might be confused. Maybe Harvey is right, maybe he is wrong but in the past few years he has definitely returned to form and shown some good judgement. And let’s face it, with Focus going more commercial and places like Vantage barely breathing anymore, there is still a need for a TWC when they are at their best.

    • Joyce Tyler says:

      Connor, great post. And couldn’t agree with you more. I thought from the outset that this project was going to be about Grace Kelly’s desire to return to her film career in Hitchcock’s “Marnie,” until suddenly she was faced with a choice between resuming her career and saving her husband’s bacon and her children’s future. Not the nuts and bolts of French politics. The latter might be of interest in Europe (well, France, at least), but it would go over like the proverbial lead balloon in America.

  23. Lea says:

    He ruins everything what else is new

  24. John says:

    Harvey destroyed The Grandmaster. Buy the DVD out of Hong Kong as the American release is a disaster.

More Film News from Variety

Loading