The Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco has had more drama behind the scenes than on the screen. But headed into its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, it seems the battle between the movie's director Olivier Dahan and its domestic distributor The Weinstein Company is finally nearing its end.
THR reports that after weeks of contract disputes, The Weinstein Company is in final negotiations to retain the U.S. distribution rights from Grace of Monaco's production company YRF Entertainment. This means--should everything go according to plan--TWC will open Grace of Monaco Stateside, possibly later this year.
Penned by Arash Amel, Grace of Monaco will focus on the time of Grace Kelly's life after she was Alfred Hitchcock's leading lady, when she was the wife of Monaco's Prince Rainier III, during a time of political unrest in the 1960s. Dahan brought a high level of prestige and expectation to the project, having previously helmed the Academy Award-winning Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose. Then Nicole Kidman added a generous dose of glamor and star power when she signed on to play Grace Kelly.
The Weinstein Company got on board in February of 2013, buying Grace of Monaco's U.S. release rights for $5 million, with a $10 million print and advertising commitment. However, things began to fall apart when Harvey Weinstein and Olivier Dahan began to clash over the film's tone. Reportedly, Weinstein wanted a winsome and breezy version, while Dahan was favoring a darker cut. These conflicts are believed to have bumped the movie from December 27th, 2013 to off TWC's release schedule completely. This spurred bad buzz that turned Grace of Monaco from an assumed Oscar contender to a troubled production that might not see a Stateside release at all.
Then in a surprising turn of events, Grace of Monaco's prospects glowed bright once more when the biopic was accepted into the illustrious Cannes Film Festival. With its premiere fast approaching, TWC is looking to recommit to Grace of Monaco, though with a thriftier deal on their end. THR notes TWC is attempting to renegotiate the initial $5 million distribution fee to $3 million, citing a breach in contract over YRF Entertainment's failure to submit to them a completed film. Furthermore, for their U.S. release, TWC is insisting on a cut that addresses their notes. Basically, it seems Harvey Weinstein still wants to be in business with Olivier Dahan--provided he get his way, and his cut of Grace of Monaco.
Previously, Dahan told the French press :
"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."
Dahan's cut may never make it to movie theaters in America, but his version of Grace of Monaco will play at Cannes on May 14th.