Pollack's death clouds Mirage slate


The death of Sydney Pollack on Monday has thrown the many projects his company, Mirage Enterprises, was developing into limbo.

Mirage finds itself in an unusual situation: Pollack was a principal in the company with Anthony Minghella, who died March 18. Few companies have faced the death of its two partners in such a short period of time, leaving not only the question of what happens to its titles but also what becomes of the company, which has offices in Los Angeles and London.

Other companies that have lost partners have soldiered on — even thrived — after the death of a partner (witness Jerry Bruckheimer Films after Don Simpson).

Mirage projects — those that are not partnered with other producers — might find themselves under the wings of Pollack's agents at CAA and his family, who might try to keep them going. Another scenario is that Pollack's daughter Rebecca, who was an executive at United Artists, takes over.

"We're all flying a little blind right now," said one person close to Pollack's camp and involved in several projects.

Mirage has a first-look deal at the Weinstein Co., and the company has said that it is intent on moving forward on those projects, including "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," which is going ahead at HBO.

Mirage's docket at the Weinstein Co. also includes the remake of German foreign-language Oscar winner "The Lives of Others" as well as the adaptation of Allison Pearson's novel "I Don't Know How She Does It." The latter has David Frankel ("Marley & Me") attached to direct.

Other projects, most of which are book adaptations or international-flavored thrillers, include:

> "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax," which Minghella adapted based on a novel by Liz Jensen.

> "The Silver Lining Playbook" an adaptation of a Matthew M. Quick book that Pollack was producing with Michelle Raimo.

> "Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand," an adaptation of a fantasy novel that sees the Weinstein Co. sharing the project with Miramax.

> At Miramax, Mirage was working on "The Resurrectionists," based on the novel by Michael Collins.

> "Colombian Gold" is set up at Focus, with Mirage producing with Miguel Arteta's Flan de Coco Films shingle. (partialdiff)