Miramax pushing pause button

Tomorrow's a ways off for 'Max

The future of Miramax Films may be in flux, but the company hasn’t stopped thinking about tomorrow. Trouble is, for some of its movies, that’s a long way off.

The shingle has pushed John Dahl’s World War II saga “The Great Raid” from Feb. 5 to Dec. 2, 2005. Also bumped is Terry Gilliam’s “The Brothers Grimm.” The Dimension Films production was originally slated for November, then February. It’s now expected to bow Nov. 23, 2005.

Execs say “Raid” and “Grimm” are moving into stronger holiday season slots, although both are ready for release this fall.

Indeed, “The Great Raid” will make its world preem Sept. 10 at the Hatch Audiovisual Arts Festival in Bozeman, Mont., more than a year before its scheduled release.

Dahl, who was born and raised in Billings, Mont., lobbied Miramax to take his film to hatch the first annual outing, which runs Sept. 9-12. Pic’s star Joseph Fiennes is expected to attend.

“(Miramax) has been wonderfully supportive,” Hatch chair Penny Ronning said. However, she added, “It’s not a Miramax world premiere. They’ll do their own premiere.”

Other Miramax films have held fast to their dates, including Martin Scorsese’s “Aviator,” which has long been slated for Dec. 17.

However, Miramax has single-handedly created a holiday logjam on Christmas Day, with Mike Nichols’ “Proof,” Gurinder Chadha’s “Bride and Prejudice” and Lasse Hallstrom’s “An Unfinished Life,” a film that was originally anticipated for 2003.

Currently undated is the Bruce Willis starrer “Hostage,” which Miramax acquired from Bob Yari’s Stratus Film Co.

Straight to vid/DVD

Miramax and Dimension each have a number of films that will bypass the bigscreen altogether.

Renny Harlin’s “Mindhunters,” which stars Val Kilmer and LL Cool J, is headed for DVD. Dimension bought the title from Intermedia Films.

Ditto for “Darkness,” which is also headed for a small screen release. Dimension bought all English-speaking rights to the Jaume Balaguero horror pic back in the fall of 2000. It stars Anna Paquin.

The studio says it’s still trying to find a date for the Spice Factory’s Christopher Walken starrer “Undertaking Betty” (aka “Plots With a View”). Pic went to production nearly three years ago.

And then there’s the Miramax movies that are simply AWOL, including the Julia Stiles starrer “Carolina”; Millennium Films’ “Prozac Nation,” which stars Christina Ricci; and martial-arts actioners “Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger,” “The Touch” and “Zu Warriors.”

For now, Miramax has six films skedded for next year, including Nick Cannon vehicle “The Underclassman” (Jan. 14), ocean docu “Deep Blue” (April) and the foreign-language pics “Twin Sisters” (first quarter) “Les Choristes” (Jan. 14) and “The Best of Youth” (January).

In addition to “Brothers Grimm,” Dimension’s schedule currently consists of Wes Craven’s “Cursed” (Feb. 25), “Sin City” (April 1) and the 3-D “Shark Boy and Lava Girl” (June 10).

Likely for 2005 but as yet undated are Miramax’s “Derailed,” which stars Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston, and Dimension’s vidgame adaptation “Backwater.” Both are slated to begin production in September.