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Movies in Limbo During Distribution Fall-Out: The Debt, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Haywire

by Anne Thompson
October 13, 2010 4:59 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Miramax is no more. And I challenge you to name the specialty division's new owner. For $660 million, Disney sold the Tiffany label built and abandoned by the Weinsteins--that once represented class, style and Oscar contenders--to Filmyard Holdings, a consortium led by financeer Ron Tutor and partners including Colony Capitol and the beleaguered David Bergstein. And Disney decided finally not to release two Miramax films still on its schedule, John Madden's The Debt, a Mossad thriller starring Helen Mirren, and Guillermo del Toro's production of rookie Troy Nixey's R-rated scare-fest Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, which was well-reviewed by the LAT.

Who will release the films now is open to speculation as Filmyard Holdings isn't set up to do so, as yet. Indie distribs are only now starting to sniff out the situation. Here's Variety.

Also caught in a release quagmire is Steven Soderbergh's Haywire, which was financed by Relativity Media but acquired for North American release by Lionsgate. Neither entity has yet seen the film as Soderbergh rushes to complete it. Relativity did buy back Season of the Witch (January 7) from Lionsgate, as well as college party flick Kids in America, starring Anna Faris, and Neil Burger's smart-drug thriller The Dark Fields, starring Bradley Cooper, to feed through its new distribution company, run by ex-Overture staffers. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Relativity would buy Haywire back, but that conversation is premature, I am told.

Certainly Oscar speculation about a qualifying run for Haywire (fed by an erroneous AMC listing for an L.A./N.Y. run) looks dubious at best. The movie is a gritty spy thriller written by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) and starring fighter Gina Carano as a black ops soldier on a revenge mission, with a great supporting cast including Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, Mathieu Kassovitz and Bill Paxton. Someone who saw the movie wrote me: "Haywire is pretty fine. Very much like John Huston in his Kremlin Letter/Mackintosh Man period." McGregor is playing in essence Erik Prince, added my informant, who also admired David Holmes' "way cool" score.

Here's the Don't Be Afraid of the Dark trailer:


  • JOSH | October 26, 2010 11:44 AMReply

    Who is that hottie in the picture and where can I get one?????

  • jamais | October 16, 2010 6:20 AMReply

    Anne, any news about what is happening with Last Night? I gathered that at TIFF Disney were looking for a buyer and didn't find one.

    Now, today an Italian trailer has surfaced -

    Is it just publicity for Rome Festival, or is the film being distributed after all - if only in Europe? What do you think?

  • Andy | October 16, 2010 4:23 AMReply

    ok...your article makes no can you say Relativity and Lionsgate 'haven't seent the film' (re: HAYWIRE) you even have a friend that's been to a's been all over the internet how well the test screenings how can u say that the two studios who paid for it and are releasing it haven't even seen it? c'mon think!
    of course they've seen it!

  • p0d_man_after | October 15, 2010 12:33 PMReply

    I thought that the newly Ryan Kavanaugh's (Haywire producer/Relativity CEO) acquired Overture would be releasing the film instead of Lionsgate.

    (according to the

  • Cotty Chubb | October 13, 2010 10:35 AMReply

    FWIW, I saw the "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" trailer at the AMC in Santa Monica on Monday at the 7:05 show of "Let Me In." I can't tell you how the crowd responded since I was in sad fact the only ticket-buyer for that showing.

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