Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin appear to have buried their differences over Stephen Daldry's Oscar contender The Reader starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet as The Weinstein Company announced it will release the film in North America on December 12.

The move ends debate over whether the drama would get a 2008 release and gives Weinstein a much coveted Academy Awards contender to add to his stable alongside Woody Allen's well received Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

At issue was the fact that Weinstein wanted to release The Reader in 2008 while producer Rudin was happy to bide his time because he already has two Academy Awards contenders coming up this season with Doubt and Revolutionary Road, also starring Kate Winslet.

According to reports Weinstein had previously told Daldry that if an early assembly of The Reader gained a 70% approval rating or higher he would try to release it this year. When test audiences returned a 77% rating Daldry faced a hectic post-production schedule as he prepared to direct the Broadway adaptation of Billy Elliot.

Rudin may also have been concerned that a nomination for Winslet's performance in The Reader might damage her chances of success in Revolutionary Road, the suburban drama in which she stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time since Titanic. Paramount Vantage holds domestic rights.

For his part it is understood Weinstein was anxious to release The Reader this year so it would not distract his attention from his two 2009-10 contenders, Nine and Inglorious Bastards. However all that seems to be resolved now that the parties have set a date for The Reader, an adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's tale about a man in postwar Germany who learns the truth about a mysterious former lover. The rich cast of European actors also includes Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz, Karoline Herfurth and David Kross in the role of the younger Fiennes.

'We are issuing this statement together to emphasise the fact that we are in complete agreement on the date we have chosen to release The Reader,' Weinstein and Scott Rudin said last night [September 28].

'Working together, we developed a plan to extend the post-production schedule in order to give Stephen Daldry the additional time he needs to successfully complete the film in time to release it on December 12, 2008.'

'On their own, Scott and Harvey spent this weekend working together to
find a way to accommodate my needs so that I may fulfil my obligation
to the studio without compromising my vision for the film,' Daldry
said. 'I am thrilled and relieved that we have all found a way forward
to work together to bring The Reader to theatres this year.'