EXCLUSIVE: With two Best Picture candidates in the hunt, Harvey Weinstein has begun putting together the Oscar season slate for next year. I’m told that The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800 screen run. I was unable to get comment from TWC or CAA, which shopped the domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing a sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. The film will be released in December, smack in the middle of next awards season, a release pattern that will be similar to the one TWC used for The Iron Lady. Inferno and Silver Reel were also in the deal. A $2 million deal for Canada is also in the offing.
The drama chronicles how Princess Grace made the transition from star of films like Dial M For Murder and Rear Window to her role as princess by playing a major role in helping her husband settle a dispute between her country and France’s Charles De Gaulle over tax laws in the 1960s.
It’s the second fact-based Oscar season film that TWC has acquired this week, the other being Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the Justin Chadwick-directed drama that stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Skyfall‘s Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. TWC also has the screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County releasing in November, with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor in the ensemble cast.