The Weinstein Company and the MPAA have come to terms on a PG-13 rating for Bully, the timely documentary that would have been hamstrung by an R rating for objectionable language. TWC released it without a rating, which didn’t help matters. The compromise is that the film is shy a few cuss words, but retains a chilling scene depicting bullies in action. And the brouhaha has given the film a ton of free publicity and attention that documentaries rarely receive.
A statement by MPAA ratings board chairman Joan Graves said this afternoon that The Weinstein Company resubmitted an edited version of Bully, and the board gave the new version a PG-13 “for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language – all involving kids.” Graves stated “the ratings system has worked exactly as it is supposed to” and emphasized the same process is available to all filmmakers. The MPAA has also granted The Weinstein Company a waiver eliminating the usual 90-day window required between the release of two differently-rated versions of the same movie, which allows TWC to release the PG-13 Bully now.
April 5, 2012 – New York, NY – The Weinstein Company (TWC), aided by the guidance and consultation from attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, announced today that the MPAA has lowered the R rating, given for some language, for BULLY to a PG-13 in time for the film’s April 13th expansion to 55 markets. The scene that has been at the forefront of the battle with the MPAA, the intense scene in the film that shows teen Alex Libby being bullied and harassed on a bus, has been left fully intact and unedited. BULLY director Lee Hirsch felt editing the scene was not an option, and subsequently refused to do so, since it is too important to the truth and integrity behind the film.
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OSCARS: Wins By Film
OSCARS: Winners List
WINS BY STUDIO
Weinstein Co. — 8
Paramount — 6
Sony Pictures Classics — 2
DreamWorks — 1
Fox Searchlight — 1
Focus — 1
Sony — 1
Walt Disney — 1
UPDATE: Well that was fast. I’ve confirmed the Bachelorette deal and the fact Tom Quinn and Jason Janego’s company will be called Radius. Release is below the original scoop.
EXCLUSIVE: The Sundance distribution deals continue to flow. The Weinstein Company is closing a deal for North American distribution rights to Bachelorette, an edgy comedy written and directed by Leslye Headland. I’m hearing that the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million, and that the plan is for a multi-platform day and date release with a theatrical component. It’s the first significant festival acquisition made by Tom Quinn and Jason Janego since they joined The Weinstein Company to start a new company that takes advantage of the multi-platform release strategy. They’ve named the new company Radius.
The film premiered Monday January 23 at the Eccles Theater, and stars Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Adam Scott and Kyle Bornheimer. It’s produced by Brice Dal Farra, Claude Dal Farra, Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Lauren Munsch. The logline: Unresolved issues between four high school friends come roaring back to life when the least popular of them gets engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors in New York City and asks the others to be bridesmaids in her wedding. CAA brokered the deal. Some of the buyers I spoke to the night of the screening came in expecting Bridesmaids, but while the comedy and dialogue was raucous, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Amy Adams has formally been set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled film, which begins production later this month. She will play the wife of the character played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. He plays a man who returns from witnessing the horrors of WWII, and in an attempt to find himself, he forms a belief system that catches on in the 1950s. Deadline revealed in early May that Adams was being courted. Joaquin Phoenix has also been set to play the faith leader’s right-hand man, and I’ve heard there have been conversations with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Lena Endre and Laura Dern for other roles. The Weinstein Company acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film last month just before the Cannes Film Festival. Megan Ellison is producing through her Annapurna Productions banner, along with JoAnne Sellar and Daniel Lupi, with Ted Schipper exec producing.
Adams is coming off her Oscar-nominated turn in The Fighter, and she will do this film before starting production on Man of Steel, playing Lois Lane in the Zack Snyder-directed Superman franchise reboot. Adams will next be seen in the Walter Salles-directed On The Road, which is being shopped for domestic distribution, and Disney’s Muppets. She’s repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and WME.
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has preemptively acquired screen rights to The Boys in the Boat, a nonfiction book by Daniel James Brown about the University of Washington 8-man rowing team that bested the elite schools like Harvard and Yale to represent the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. There, they beat powerhouses England and Germany to win the Gold Medal, prompting Hitler to storm off in disgust. WME made the deal based on a 17-page proposal, and the agency is hot and heavy with several publishing houses for book rights. I’ve heard that Viking and Random House were among those into the bidding last night, which at the time reached $750,000 for North American rights.