While Harvey Weinstein usually lets his marketing department do the work for him, he’s been working the press pretty hard himself the past few weeks. Not only does he have his little arthouse hit “The Intouchables” to stump for, but a slate of eagerly awaited films including John Hillcoat‘s “Lawless,” Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “The Master,” David O. Russell‘s “Silver Linings Playbook” and of course, Quentin Tarantino‘s “Django Unchained,” which hits Comic-Con Saturday, promising a brand-new batch of footage to wow the crowds. But in talking with Movies.com, he dropped some little nuggets about two particular films from the past that are still kicking with life.
Sitting on Weinstein’s shelf for almost four years since it wrapped in August 2008, it looks like Mikael Hafstrom‘s “Shanghai” will finally be getting a stateside release after opening internationally and hitting Blu-ray in England earlier this year. To refresh your memory, the film starred the pretty decent cast of John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Franka Potente, Gong Li, David Morse and Ken Watanabe, and tells a 1940s-set story that follows an American Naval Intelligence agent named Paul Soames (Cusack) who travels to Shanghai in order to investigate the death of his good friend Connor (Morgan). Posing as a pro-Nazi journalist, he attempts to infiltrate the upper echelons of German society within the city, and also attempts to pry details about the new relationship forming between Germany and Japan. Paul finds himself at odds when he is entangled in a love triangle between a triad leader named Anthony Lan-Ting (Chow) and his wife, played by Gong Li.
While Harv blames unspecified “political reasons” for the delay, he says going VOD with his Radius shingle is oddly the best format for the release: “Interestingly enough that was a film the Radius guys loved. So they’re going to do their VOD Radius deal on that,” he said. “There we go, I passed the test finally. That’s a really underrated movie. It did so well in Asia; we did great in Japan, we did great in China, and it was really made with that audience in mind. We’re very pleased with the film, and the delays here have to do with all sorts of political reasons that have nothing to do with the film itself. Finally the Radius guys convinced me that would be the best way to play the movie, and I think they’re right.” It’s not enough to convince us that the movie isn’t a stinker, but maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Meanwhile, Harv is still dreaming of a “Shakespeare In Love” sequel. Way back in December 2010, the mogul made a deal with the new owners of the Miramax label he founded to partner on sequels and television spinoffs for a number of titles in the catalogue, including “Rounders,” “Bad Santa,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Copland,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Swingers,” “Clerks,” “Shall We Dance” and “The Amityville Horror.” And while not much has been brewing since then, other than “Bad Santa 2” and “Bridget Jones 3,” he still hopes to re-visit ‘Shakespeare.’
“I would like to do ‘Shakespeare in Love 2.’ We’ve been tossing ideas back and forth, and I heard a good one the other day, so maybe I might shock everybody. Then I tell everyone I’m going to do the ‘Shakespeare in Love’ sequel and they laugh at me,” he said, probably acknowledging the numerous people who think it’s a horrid idea. But if Harvey wants something, he usually gets it, so be warned, this could still conceivably happen.