December 8, 2017

Which films will still be affected by the Weinstein scandal?

By Jack Rear

For all intents and purposes now, the Weinstein Company is a dead production house walking.

The company hasn’t technically closed but it’s on its last legs. The Weinstein Company films are still slated for release, after all!

However the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal which saw him accused of sexual assault by dozens of women crippled the company.

Further, the New York Times piece about Weinstein’s complicity machine further implicates the behind-the-scenes Weinstein Company employees.

And the Weinstein Company doesn’t just have problems with publicity. In addition, the company is apparently in dire financial straits.

Variety reported in November that the company is in $520m worth of debt. As such, it was forced to sell distribution rights of Paddington 2 and The Six Billion Dollar Man to Warner Bros.

The combination of cash troubles plus a publicity crisis makes it difficult to see why any major directors would choose to work with them again.

Even frequent collaborators such as Quentin Taratino have denounced the company.

The Weinstein Company is on the brink right now, and that seems unlikely to change.

But what about the films that were already in development when the scandal first came out? How many more projects will be affected by Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour? Can the Weinstein Company films survive all this?

The future of the Weinstein Company films

Thankfully there are only a small number of Weinstein films left these days. Most associations with the company have been severed as filmmakers jump ship to other distributors.

Currently there are only eight films with any relation to the Weinstein Company waiting for release.

Some have release dates, others do not.

The ones with release dates

There are three Weinstein films with official release dates. These are as follows:

  • The War with Grandpa – February 23, 2018
  • The Upside – March 9, 2018
  • Mary Magdalene – March 30, 2018

Of these, only The Upside was actually produced by the Weinstein Company.

For the other two, the company merely owns distribution rights. Obviously things could change at short notice, but it seems reasonably likely all three of these films will be released as intended.

Mary Magdalene, in particular, is very time sensitive. It’s release date coincides with Easter and, as a religious film involving Jesus it really needs that release date. Missing that slot, for Mary Magdalene would be like releasing a Christmas film in July.

As for the other two, they’ll be hoping their star power can outweigh the Weinstein scandal backlash.

The ones without release dates

There are currentluy five films on the Weinstein Company slate without official release dates.

These are as follows:

  • The Current War
  • Hotel Mumbai
  • The Man with the Iron Heart
  • Polaroid
  • Untitled Furby film

The most noteworthy of these films to be affected by the Weinstein scandal are The Current War and Polaroid. Both of these films were due to come out over Thanksgiving weekend and got shelved due to the scandal.

The Current War was seen by many critics as an attempt to woo the Academy at the Oscars, so its fate without a 2017 release remains to be seen. The other issue with delaying these films is that the cast will have moved to other projects.

As a result, they may not have time to do a press tour for the films. This could result in the films launching with little to no promotion.

Weinstein was also personally involved in editing The Current War which could lead to further critique of that particular film.

The only likely casualty of this entire scandal is the Furby movie. Since it was in such an early stage of development, it seems unlikely this film will ever see the light of day. On the other hand, seeing as Hasbro are behind it, the film will probably move forward with another distributor.

Suffice to say, while these films will probably see an eventual release, their presence will ensure the Weinstein scandal continues to provoke discussion well into 2018.