The Weinstein Co., Amazon Strike Deal for Michael Fassbender Starrer 'Macbeth' (Exclusive)


Amazon will have the exclusive SVOD rights to the film, which is going out through Radius-TWC, after its December theatrical release.

The Weinstein Co. has partnered with Amazon Studios to bring Shakespeare adaptation Macbeth to online audiences relatively quickly after the film's theatrical release via Radius-TWC.

Under the deal — struck with Radius, a division of TWC — Amazon will stream Macbeth exclusively to Prime Instant Video subscribers two to three months after the film hits theaters in December, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. It's not clear how long Amazon has an exclusive window; either way, it bolsters Amazon's aim to offer first-run movies to its customers.

TWC confirmed the ancillary deal with Amazon, but declined to comment on the terms, though they are likely to be lucrative for the film distributor. The company continues to plan a traditional theatrical release first, although an exact date hasn't yet been set for its launch.

Harvey Weinstein's company bought U.S. and Canadian rights to the Justin Kurzel-directed project in 2013 from StudioCanal. The Michael Fassbender vehicle competed in Cannes this May and earned raves from critics, who described it as a bold, violent take on the classic tale. The project, written by Jacob Koskoff and Todd Louiso, co-stars Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. 

European giant StudioCanal, which financed and produced the film, is planning an aggressive awards run in Europe. Film4 helped develop the project, with See-Saw Films' Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King's Speech) also producing.

Likewise, Radius, home of the Oscar-winning documentaries Citizenfour and Twenty Feet From Stardom, is likewise hoping for an awards run with Macbeth. (It wasn't previously known that Macbeth would go out through Radius).

Although sources say the Amazon deal has been in the works for some time, it comes as questions swirl around TWC following a number of high-profile departures. The latest: COO David Glasser announced at the end of July that he would leave the company in November. He was instrumental in TWC's negotiations to sell its television unit to U.K. TV giant ITV last spring, a deal that ultimately fell apart. 

Amazon, for its part, has been intent on growing its film division, hiring indie film veteran Ted Hope earlier this year to produce and acquire films that will premiere in theaters but quickly move to SVOD. Amazon's first project is Spike Lee's Chiraq, which is expected to debut in theaters this December to give it an Oscar qualifying run. 

Amazon couldn't be reached for comment.

Aug. 1, 6:20 p.m. Updated to reflect Radius-TWC's involvement.

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