Toronto 2011: 'Barrymore' Producer Garth Drabinsky to Hear Tuesday Whether He's Off to Jail
The next chapter in the Livent co-founder's storied career: selling his Christopher Plummer-starring film stateside before possibly going to prison for fleecing former super-agent Michael Ovitz in 1998.
TORONTO – The question hanging over the Christopher Plummer-starring Barrymore film at the Toronto International Film Festival is will it sell stateside before producer Garth Drabinsky gets hauled off to jail for fleecing former super-agent Michael Ovitz.
“It’s early days,” The Film Sales Company topper Andrew Herwitz said Sunday afternoon, a day after the stage-to-screen adaptation by Canadian director Erik Canuel had its world premiere at Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
Herwitz said he's fielded interest from U.S. buyers for Plummer’s portrait of Hollywood great John Barrymore, and private film screenings are planned in Los Angeles and New York City.
Meanwhile, Barrymore producer Drabinsky, the former Broadway impressario found guilty in 2009 on two counts of fraud at live theater producer Livent Inc. during the 1990s, will hear Tuesday from the Ontario Court of Appeal whether his appeal of those convictions will be over-turned.
Should the Ontario court uphold the convictions, Drabinsky faces a seven year stretch in the pokey.
In 1998, as Livent's finances became a house of cards, Drabinsky and long-time partner Myron Gottlieb sold a controlling stake in the company to Ovitz for $22 million.
Their accounting irregularities soon after came to light.
Livent was eventually forced to file for bankruptcy and sell off its assets.