Miramax (1979 – 2009)


Having worked for the Disney company a couple of times (first in publicity and later in development – some of you will remember the film I was briefly involved in), and knowing many of the past and current staff, I’m sad to see the Miramax sarcophagus lowered into the ground. At the same time, I understand it was it’s time.

Its kind ironic too that Miramax announces its closure on the last day of the Sundance Film Festival – the studio made its name on the circuit route, particularly at Sundance, with its innovative and fresh array of independent flicks.

Though Bob and Harvey Weinstein created the company (giving a home to such filmmakers as Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary, Steven Soderbergh, and Guillermo Del Toro, and helping launch the acting careers of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and, er, Jason Mewes), Disney retained it when the boy’s split to form their own outfit. Thing is, Disney didn’t do much with the label.

“I’m feeling very nostalgic right now,” Harvey Weinstein said today. “I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob’s watch will live on … Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organisation and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry.”

Kevin Smith, whose debut film ”Clerks” was picked up by Bob and Harvey back in the day, said he’s saddened to see the doors close on Miramax.

‘’What Harvey and Bob built from scratch resembled an old studio star-factory; but this time, the stars were the filmmakers’’, Smith tells The Wrap. ‘’It was a gang (of New York), and like any good gang, it was dripping with street cred. Just being a part of that gang sent a message: I run with rebels. But Miramax wasn’t just a bad-boy clubhouse, it was a 20th century Olympus: throw a can of Diet Coke and you hit a modern-day deity. And for one brief, shining moment, it was an age of magic and wonders. I’m crushed to see it pass into history, because I owe everything I have to Miramax. Without them, I’d still be a New Jersey convenience store register jockey. In practice, not just in my head.’’

Now that the name is up for grabs, the Weinstein’s want it back.

“We founded Miramax 29 years ago, naming it after our parents Miriam and Max. If there is ever an opportunity to make a deal to buy it back, we would certainly take it and there isn’t much in the world that would make our 83-year-old mother happier.” But here’s the problem, Deadline has been informed that: “Disney will not sell the Miramax name to anyone unless they also buy the library. They will not bifurcate”.

Summit Entertainment (“Twilight”) are said to be keen on the Miramax library.

Two current Miramax titles still awaiting release are Sam Worthington/Keira Knightley drama “Last Night” and John Madden’s “The Debt”.