Old friend links with Weinsteins

Brothers reel in L.A. prod'n prez

NEW YORK — Former MTV Films and Miramax exec Michael Cole has joined the Weinstein Co. as L.A.-based co-prexy of production.

Another co-prexy, to be based in Gotham, will be announced shortly, company said Wednesday.

Cole will report to Harvey Weinstein beginning next month.

He exited MTV a year and a half ago to travel the world and develop real estate in Hawaii. Before that, Cole was a senior exec at MTV, where he supervised projects including “Tupac: Resurrection,” “Better Luck Tomorrow” and “Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat.” He was involved with “Jackass: The Movie” and in developing “Coach Carter,” “Aeon Flux” and “The Warriors.”

“I left the business 18 months ago because I felt uninspired,” he said, adding that the deaths of his father and brother were also involved. “I’m very excited to come back in a position to make the kind of films that inspired me to get into this business in the first place.”

Before MTV, Cole worked in production at Miramax and its genre arm Dimension, overseeing projects such as “The Others” and the “Air Bud” franchise. He also served as senior veep of acquisitions at Miramax, bringing in such pics as “Swingers,” “Iron Monkey,” “Outside Providence,” “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” and “Next Stop Wonderland.”

Cole helped build the mini-major’s stable of martial arts films and oversaw the company’s homevid division during part of his tenure.

“Michael Cole shares Bob’s and my taste for projects that have both artistic and commercial appeal and has an aggressive business sense,” said Harvey Weinstein.

One pic Cole said he was already homing in on for the Weinsteins is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece “The Seven Samurai” that would mix an ensemble cast of international and domestic stars.

Exec joins a team that includes London-based exec VP of European production and development Colin Vaines, as well as Dimension exec veep and head of production Richard Saperstein, who reports to Bob Weinstein.

Weinstein Co.’s upcoming slate includes “Derailed,” “Transamerica,” “The Libertine,” “Young Hannibal” and “Mrs. Henderson Presents.”

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