The Weinstein Co. has dropped out as distributor of the Jeremy Renner starrer Wind River, according to sources.
The move comes ahead of the Taylor Sheridan-helmed drama’s world premiere this month at the Sundance Film Festival. TWC had plunked down mid-seven figures for the film in May at the Cannes Film Festival as a prebuy. The fact that TWC bowed out has raised eyebrows given that Sheridan’s 2016 film Hell or High Water has been both a critical and commercial success and is currently in the mix for a best picture Oscar nomination. Wind River is said to be a second but unrelated installment in a trio of crime films from Sheridan, with Hell or High Water being the first.
Sources say negotiations for the pic lagged over the past few months and finally fell completely apart in late December and that CAA, which is repping the film, has included it on its slate of Sundance films that are available for sale for U.S. rights that it distributed to buyers. The news, which began trickling through the buyer community late last week, was met with excitement given that Hell or High Water is one of the biggest indie box-office successes of 2016.
Wind River, which also stars Elizabeth Olsen and Jon Bernthal, follows a Fish and Game Department employee (Jeremy Renner) who stumbles upon the body of a teenage girl frozen in the desolate wilderness. He is enlisted by a rookie FBI agent (Olsen) unfamiliar with the terrain to help find those responsible.
Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road (Sicario), Peter Berg’s Film 44 (Lone Survivor) and Matthew George’s Savvy Media Holdings (LBJ) produced the film. Savvy financed Wind River along with Acacia Entertainment and Wayne Rogers’ Synergics Films. Star Thrower Entertainment executive produced along with Riverstone Pictures and The Fyzz Facility.
In an interview in early December, Berg (who also produced Hell or High Water), said that he was helping Sheridan navigate the tricky terrain of TWC.
“Harvey Weinstein gobbled this movie up very quickly,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve worked with Harvey so I try and give Taylor my counsel on the best ways to deal with Harvey and that company. And that’s not always the easiest company to deal with. Harvey is a tough guy. He drives a hard deal. But he’s actually got really good taste, and he really, really cares. I respect that.”
CAA declined to comment. TWC couldn’t be reached for comment.