May 9, 2008

What Does the Demise of Picturehouse Mean for The Women?

Yesterday, Warner Brother shut down its two indie operations Warner Independent Pictures (headed by Polly Cohen) and Picturehouse. Warners, if you recall, if the studio headed by Jeff Robinov who declared his love for women by stating that he didn't even want to read any scripts that had women leads (earlier post Do Women Matter to Hollywood?.)

Picturehouse led by Bob Berney (who brought us the awesome Whale Rider) has a couple of women friendly films on track to be released within the next several months: First is Kit Kittredge: An American Girl based on the American Girl dolls which stars Abigail Breslin, Julia Ormand, Joan Cusack and is directed by Patricia Rozema from a screenplay by Ann Peacock. It's a family friendly film with a G rating and Abigail plays a young reporter. Sounds cute. Film will be released in early July.

Second is The Women an update of the classic film written and directed by Diane English starring Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing and Candice Bergen and Bette Midler. Yowsa. Every time I write this cast I can't help but get excited.

Now that The Women is technically in the hands of Warner Brothers which has a horrible track record with women, what will they do with this film? I'm nervous. I really hope they don't dump it (the release date has recently been changed from October to September 12). I remember what happened when the Weinsteins left Miramax and there were a couple of films that never got released properly. Hopefully they sell it or partner with someone who can figure out how to market this to women (not that anyone is Hollywood is good at that).

Anyone know what's going on?