The genre titan is about to fall and it could impact several important horror franchises.
Last week, Colony Capital reached a preliminary agreement to provide much-needed cash to The Weinstein Company, which has been thrown into turmoil by allegations of sexual harassment and rape against its co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Colony was also given a limited period to exclusively pursue the purchase of some or all of the Weinstein Company’s assets.
But those plans have changed, explains the NY Times. Colony has not and will not provide a cash infusion, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday to discuss private deliberations. They further added that Colony saw bankruptcy as the most likely near-term outcome for the studio. This potentially could put The Weinstein Company’s assets, which include Dimension Films, into auction.
There are other options, which means we’re going to have to watch and see how everything unfolds. Still, it got me thinking, what assets are held by The Weinstein Company that could be freed like Michael Myers and Halloween, who both snuck their way out of the company over a year ago?
Obviously, my first thought was, what’s going to happen to Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson‘s Scream franchise? Our understanding is that Miramax no longer has any involvement, which means it’s possible this asset could be up for grabs. What of MTV’s “Scream” series and forthcoming reboot that’s been fully cast and allegedly begun shooting for a March release? Interestingly, we discovered that Netflix had secretly been producers on previous seasons. Could they still back the series in the event of a Weinstein bankruptcy? Or would the rights be tied up? We’ll watch this one closely.
The Weinstein Company’s Dimension Films quietly put sequels to both Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser and Stephen King‘s Children of the Corn into production two years ago. It was done as a bid to retain the rights with allegedly no intention of a release. Us horror fans have suffered through this for decades now (with Inferno, Hellseeker, Deader, and Hellworld) and it’ll be interesting to see if both franchises will be freed from the grasp in the event of a bankruptcy. For now, there are two completed films collecting dust: Children of the Corn: Runaway, directed by John Gulager (Feast trilogy, Piranha 3DD, and Zombie Night), and Hellraiser: Judgment, helmed by effects wiz Gary J. Tunnicliffe and featuring Paul T. Taylor as the new Pinhead.
Let’s not forget, this past August we reported that Producer Donald Borchers filed a federal copyright suit, alleging that he and not The Weinstein Company owns the sequel rights to Children of the Corn. This could also come into play in the coming year and will be something to keep our eyes on.
Then there’s the official The Amityville Horror franchise, which just saw the release of The Awakening on Google Play and VOD. Produced by Blumhouse, the released film had scrubbed Harvey Weinstein‘s name off of the credits entirely. The film, which had suffered through many reshoots, had been in limbo for years before eventually being dumped. Platinum Dunes had once remade the film, could another studio swoop in and take a chance on it? James Wan‘s The Conjuring sequel opened with the Defeo murders, maybe we’ll one day see Amityville as one of the many Conjuring spinoffs? It’s also important to note that Miramax also retains some sort of rights in this franchise, so it’s entirely possible this ends up in limbo.
Well, looks like Amityville: The Awakening is the first movie to actually remove Harvey Weinstein’s credit from the opening. Good riddance. pic.twitter.com/L00YXcM125
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) October 16, 2017
There’s more, as Dimension Films released both the Alex Aja-helmed Piranha 3D and its sequel, Piranha 3DD, directed by John Gulager. The reboot of Joe Dante‘s franchise is another that could end up available, as well as David Cronenberg‘s Scanners, which Dimension had been developing for television. (In a quick IMDb search, however, it shows Bron as the current rights holder. We’re looking into this.) What happens to the Sin City franchise, which was a co-production between Dimension and Robert Rodriguez‘s Troublemaker Studios? And what about the various films acquired and shelved that still haven’t seen the light of day, including the French horror Livide?
The legal system is a complicated one and we’re not going to sit here and act like we understand the ramifications of each and every piece of news that trickles out. What’s clear is that The Weinstein Company is in serious financial trouble and could end up in bankruptcy. It could end in one of a dozen different ways. What we hope, though, is that through this process some of our favorite franchises are able to wiggle free to a better home and not end up in rights limbo until the end of time.
What do you guys think?