Screen Talk: Miramax for sale

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The Independent Culture

It looks like 2010 is not Harvey's year.

Disney is to sell the Miramax Films name to someone other than original founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein (above left). The buyers for the name – Mira and Max were the parents of the brothers Weinstein – and its 611-picture library (for around $650m, or about £425m) are led by the construction executive Ronald Tutor and Colony Capital, which is a privately held institutional investment firm run by founder and CEO Thomas Barrack Jr. The non-Weinstein deal is being constructed to leave around $200m to be raised in the form of debt, with the parties having until 28 July to find out whether there are any ghosts in the books and to come up with the debt finance.

A graphic approach to acting success

Here's a clever new way for actors to boost their chances of starring roles: writing a graphic novel. Hollywood has long mined graphic novels as sources of movie magic: there's a storyboard there before development even begins. Avatar star Sam Worthington (above centre) and his newly formed company Full Clip have teamed up with Radical Studios to create and develop graphic novels to be published with an eye toward screen adaptations to follow. Michael Schwarz and John Schwarz are partners with Worthington in Full Clip, and Worthington and John Schwarz would star in select projects. The first film out of the gate is Damaged, which, according to the companies, "centres on two brothers committed to justice in different ways – one inside the law, one violently beyond it".

Midnight Run meets Most Wanted

Sandra Bullock (above right) and Ryan Reynolds are reuniting with the director Anne Fletcher and writer Pete Chiarelli for Most Wanted after enjoying each other's company on Disney's The Proposal. Universal is backing the creative reunion on the project after Disney opted out. It sees Bullock play a criminal suspect with Reynolds as an FBI agent who is escorting her to court when the two are ambushed and forced to go on the run. It has been described as having a similar tone to Universal's 1988 action comedy starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run. Given Universal is already developing a sequel to Run, let's hope that Most Wanted isn't too similar.

No black-list blues

In Hollywood, making a "black list" is no bad thing. It's a list of hot, unproduced scripts that all the studios look at in their search for the next big thing, writer wise. John Hlavin, a scribe and story editor on The Shield, is fast becoming a go-to guy after his Western screenplay The Gunslinger got set up at Warner Bros and made the black list. He went on to sharpen scripts for Underworld 4, adapted the comic book Alibi and penned Panic for Fede Alvarez and producer Sam Raimi. Now DreamWorks have picked up an action-thriller pitch from Hlavin which is described as an international heist movie.

It's pirates vs cops as the ICE-man cometh

Hollywood is calling in the cops and this time it's not in a script. Moguls and industry execs are teaming up with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to mount a nationwide operation against internet counterfeiting and piracy. It's a pity the ops codename, Operation in our Sites, isn't as Hollywood as it could be. Enforcement agents have already seized nine internet domain names being used by websites offering first-run movies, often within hours of their release. ICE investigators and the Department of Homeland Security have also seized assets from 15 banks, PayPal and advertising accounts, and moved on four residential search warrants in four states.