Once again ‘Grace of Monaco’, set to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, is in the headlines. However, things are finally starting to go the favour of the film as The Weinstein Co. is bordering on a deal to keep its rights to the picture and distribute the film stateside.
From the moment the Grace Kelly starring feature production first screened to buyers at last year’s Cannes Film Festival it has cause a controversial stir amongst Hollywood, whether it be the criticism from the Monaco Royal Family, calling the film “totally fictional“, or the release of the production being bumped from last years awards season. Although, since it was selected for the Cannes Film Festival it was assumed the film would be in for smooth sailing. That is until last week, where the films US distributor The Weinstein Company was said to be considering dropping their rights to ‘Grace of Monaco’ before its Cannes opening night premiere.
The problem, which began last week, started as Harvey Weinstein had become unselled after the Cannes Film Festival jury selected the directors final cut of the biopic, the version previously screened to buyers at last years festival before it was acquired and recut by Harvey Weinstein, to be screened at Cannes. The reason that the festival chose against screening Grace of Monaco’s Weinstein cut is reportedly based on French legislation — making it the law for french directors to receive the final cut on their works. This has essentially, pushed Harvey to decide whether to drop the Weinstein Company’s US distribution rights for the Grace of Monaco.
Over the last week The Weinstein Company has been attempting to renegotiate the $5 million rights fee, enabling the Weinstein’s to distribute Grace of Monaco in the United States, down to a fee of $3 million. The reason for the late renegotiation is because the Weinstein Co. believe that the filmmakers have breached their contract by not submitting the completed film, which they have said they propose was intentional. Mainly given that Grace of Monaco Director Olivier Dahan has previously made it clear to french media late last year that he would be fighting to keep his cut of the film, with Dahan saying “It’s right to struggle, but when you confront an American distributor like Weinstein, not to name names, there is not much you can do, either you say ‘Go figure it out with your pile of shit’ or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn’t as violent.” The offer made by the Weinstein Co. has been said to be an ultimatum by the distributor.
The Weinstein Company currently have a selection of films set to be released this year, including The Immigrant (acquired at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival finally opening with a limited release on May 16th — a year later), Snowpiercer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (acquired at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival) along with Can A Song Save Your Life which was also acquired at last years Toronto Film Fest and subsequently received a title change to ‘Begin Again’. Along with Tim Burton’s 1960s drama ‘Big Eyes’, set for release on Christmas day.
The Weinstein Company is expected to announce soon which version of the film will infact be opening the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, scheduled to be held from May 14th-25th.
About the Author
James Rush is TFM’s Founder & Chief Editor.