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TWC plots Crouching Tiger series

Harvey Weinstein plans to make a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon franchise, it emerged during a showreel presentation in Cannes on Friday evening [17].

“We are going to do all five books,” the co-chairman of The Weinstein Company said, referring to the Crane-Iron Pentalogy books that spawned the 2000 original — released by SPC — and an upcoming sequel by The Weinstein Company to star Michelle Yeoh called Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II – The Green Destiny.

Earlier on in the event held at the Majestic Hotel, Weinstein hailed his senior executives for making 2012 “as good [a year] as any we had at Miramax” and along with COO David Glasser introduced his slate for the remainder of the year.

The executives highlighted potential awards contenders such as The Butler, Grace Of Monaco, August Osage County, Sundance hits Fruitvale Station and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (also a Critics Week selection), the documentary Salinger and Cannes competition entry The Immigrant.

Weinstein said he had always wanted to adapt Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye and revealed that his ambition was shared at one time or another by around “9,000 others” including Elia Kazan and Mike Nichols. He has not made the film thus far but appeared thrilled with the documentary.

The room of buyers and select press also watched footage from Palme d’Or contender Only God Forgives, as well as Grandmaster and One Chance, the feelgood story of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts.

Grace Of Monaco star Nicole Kidman, with whom Weinstein has made seven films, took to the stage in a quick break from competition jury duties. “It’s almost two decades of working with Harvey and I have not gotten to do this for a while so it’s good to be doing this,” Kidman said. “I got to know Grace very, very well — researched her, fell in love with her — and I got to work with a French crew and Olivier Dahan, whom I adore.”

“I was going to bring George Clooney who produced August Osage County, but I am still pissed off about losing,” Weinstein joked, referring to the Oscar success of Argo at the expense of Weinstein’s Silver Linings Playbook.

Weinstein invited several others on to the stage including Rooney Mara, Octavia Spencer, the Crouching Tiger sequel director Yuen Wo Ping, and Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Mandela opposite Idris Elba in the awards season release Mandela.

Footage of the Nelson Mandela biopic was fast-paced, physical and gripping. “This is the kick-ass version,” Weinstein said, “and it’s true because it’s based on the book [Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk To Freedom].”

In an emotional segment Weinstein recalled how shortly after Mandela’s release from imprisonment on Robben Island the former ANC leader visited New York to meet with a group of entertainment industry leaders. “He told us that every Thursday night [in prison] they took them to [watch a movie] and it helped them get through that time.”


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