New 'Lives' for Mirage


The Weinstein Co. has renewed its exclusive first-look deal with Mirage Prods., the production company run by Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella. The first new project under the pact, which has been extended for three years, will be an English-language remake of "The Lives of Others," the German film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck that won the Oscar for best foreign-language film Sunday.

Mirage has had a long-standing relationship with Weinstein Co. co-heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Most recently, the Weinstein Co., Mirage and Miramax Films produced Minghella's "Breaking and Entering," a drama in release starring Jude Law, Juliette Binoche and Robin Wright Penn.

Other Mirage projects included in the renewed deal are "I Don't Know How She Does It," a comedy based on Allison Pearson's best-selling novel, which will reunite "The Devil Wears Prada" screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and director David Frankel; "The Amulet of Samarkand," based on the first novel in Jonathan Stroud's "Bartimaeus Trilogy," which screenwriter Hossein Amini is adapting; "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax," based on a novel by Liz Jensen, which Minghella will write and direct; "The Reader," a love story based on the Bernard Schlink novel; and a potential TV series, "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," with a pilot written by Minghella and Richard Curtis that Minghella is directing.

The Weinsteins' relationship with Mirage dates back to 1998's "Sliding Doors," directed by Peter Howitt, which Miramax Films distributed in the U.S. They have collaborated on such films as "The English Patient," "Cold Mountain," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Heaven," "Iris" and "The Quiet American." Pollack formed Mirage more than 20 years ago; Minghella joined the company in 2001.

"We have had incredible success with Mirage, and so renewing their deal was an obvious decision," Harvey Weinstein said Wednesday. "This deal will allow the Weinstein Co. and Mirage to share in the production of many more award-winning films."

Pollack said of the Weinsteins, "They've been great both as business and creative partners, and we look forward with enormous enthusiasm to our future work together."

Colin Vaines, executive vp European production and development, will oversee Mirage projects on behalf of the Weinstein Co.

Eric Roth, executive vp business affairs, negotiated the agreement on behalf of the Weinstein Co. CAA and Barry Tyerman, of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris, represented Mirage.