Harvey and Bob Weinstein have concluded the buy-back of MichaelMoore's Palme D'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11 from The Walt Disney Co and are free tohire a domestic distributor or distribute the picture personally in the US.
The brothers began negotiations several weeks ago after it emergedthat Disney had told both the Weinsteins and Moore a year ago that it would notallow Miramax to release a politically sensitive picture during an electionyear.
Disney-owned Miramax released Moore's political documentary TheBig One in 1998 andDisney owns the ABC network, whose commentators have broadcast persuasivepolitical opinion on a daily basis for many years.
Fahrenheit 9/11 examines links between President George W Bush and leading Saudifamilies including the vilified Osama bin Laden.
Disney sources announced the sale on Friday and said theWeinsteins had acquired all rights through a new outfit, the FellowshipAdventure Group, and will be responsible for all costs to finish the pictureand all marketing costs not paid by the eventual distributors.
Newmarket, Lions Gate and Focus Features are among thefrontrunners to handle theatrical distribution; the brothers will donate any distributionprofits to charity.
Wild Bunch washired by Miramax to handle international sales on the film.