Tribeca 2015: Harvey Weinstein Offers 'Hateful Eight' Update, Hits Back at 'Woman in Gold' Critics
The Weinstein Co. head also said the effort to pardon 49,000 men who were prosecuted in the U.K. for being gay is "going to pass."
Harvey Weinstein has seen roughly 40 minutes of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Western The Hateful Eight and he told an overflowing audience at the Tribeca Film Festival that the film is "quintessential Quentin."
Weinstein began a nearly hour-long conversation Saturday by raving that what he's seen of the film is "special and fun and sharp and new and edgy and good, really good."
The Weinstein Co. boss, whose company is distributing the film, said Tarantino is "making no compromises" on his 70 mm film, wanting to use real snow instead of snowblowers, a problem given that there wasn't much snow when they were shooting in Telluride.
He also used some of his time in the wide-ranging discussion to hit back at critics of TWC's latest film Woman in Gold, including one whom Weinstein said took issue with the film not giving Nazis "any human character."
"I called Simon Curtis our director and I went, 'We f—ed up. We made the Nazis bad. How could we have made that mistake?' " Weinstein said, sarcastically. "You've got to be kidding me? What was that reviewer smoking? Screwed up on the Nazis."
He defended the film against the "crazy bad" reviews it received, indicating he was baffled by those and saying the movie, which has grossed more than $14.4 million since its April 1 limited release and has expanded to more than 2,000 theaters, is "doing really well."
Weinstein also insisted that the Imitation Game-inspired petition he supported to have the British government pardon the 49,000 men who were prosecuted for being gay is "going to pass."
He noted two of prime minister David Cameron's opponents in the election for the U.K.'s top government post, which is set to be held on May 7, have said their first act in office will be to pardon those men and that Cameron, whose party this week said it supported the effort to pardon those individuals, will pardon them if he's re-elected.
"Cameron hasn't said yes yet but he will," Weinstein added. "Maybe he's not saying yes because he wants more votes or he's appealing to some constituency that's not open-minded but it's going to pass. I'm going to walk out and say that we were part of the engine that 49,000 people got pardoned."
At the end of the talk, Weinstein briefly offered his views on the Sony hack, back in the news this week after WikiLeaks posted the hacked documents. He urged tech executives to figure out a way to keep private information, such as the Sony emails, from being made public.
"I hope that Apple and Google and some of the people there who are politically conscientious find new ways to protect us," he said.
He also urged the Oscars to return to a five-film best picture category.
"I love the tradition of the Academy. The 10 [best] picture [nominees] thing has always bothered me because it was always five," he said. "Put a best comedy [category] in if you want to delineate. That's what the Golden Globes do. I don't think it's heresy to do that. … Maybe you should have a best action [category]. … I still think the best picture should be the five best [movies]."
During the wide-ranging discussion, Weinstein re-told the stories of how he acquired many of Miramax and The Weinstein Co.'s best-known films. There was no Q&A at the end, and he wasn't asked about his recently dropped claim of allegedly groping a model.
He was asked about The Weinstein Co. selling its TV division to ITV in a potential $950 million deal.
But on that all he would say is, "No deal has closed. There's interest from many different places."
Full audio of Weinstein's Tribeca conversation is available here.