The Weinstein Co.'s David Glasser: "We're Ready to Buy" at TIFF

David Glasser
Aaron Fallon

Though Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser is more mild-mannered than Harvey Weinstein, he can show flashes of the same mercurial streak as his boss. He says he recently became downright apoplectic when a travel-agency snafu left him stranded in Shanghai with the wrong visa. "I am a yeller if anyone messes with my time efficiency," says Glasser, photographed Jan. 7 in his Beverly Hills office.

After reversing his decision to resign, the COO shares his next steps with Harvey and Bob Weinstein: "[We want to] build TV and have a very focused vision on the kind of movies we want to release."

Coming into the festival, The Weinstein Company posed the biggest question mark: Would the studio — minus its venerable and aggressive COO David Glasser — be an active player in the market?

But now that Glasser has reversed his decision to resign from TWC and will remain in the Weinstein fold through 2018, a new question has emerged: Can the studio quickly regain its position as the tone-setter it has been in years past?

Glasser, for one, says he is fully prepared to lead his troops at the festival even though the ink has barely dried on his new contract, which he hammered out over the weekend.

“I have been reading all of the acquisition reports, the prepping and planning, reading the scripts for pre-sales,” Glasser says of how he spent his time since he announced on July 30 that he was exiting the company. “I wanted to keep my pencil sharp no matter where I was going, so I am completely up to speed on. I’m coming in at full capacity, ready to go if we find the one, two, three [movies] or none. Whatever we find, we’re ready to buy.”

During the ensuing weeks, Glasser says he fielded eight offers for top posts that he declined to name because he signed nondisclosure agreements. (Rumors swirled that he was courted by Jeffrey Katzenberg for a DreamWorks Animation post and by Tom Rothman to run TriStar.) By the past weekend, he had narrowed it down to two offers.

“I had a lot of different offers that I took a look at – startups, rebuilds, studios,” Glasser told THR before he boarded a flight to Toronto. “I think the one consistent thing that stayed in the back of my head even as I was sizing up these other opportunities was, ‘Look, I’ve already built it. We built it together me, Bob and Harvey. It already exists. So when [Harvey and Bob Weinstein] came calling this weekend again, we said, ‘OK, what would we do going forward? What’s the big picture plan? [We want to] build TV and have a very focused vision on the kind of movies we want to release.'"

Acquisitions will continue to be a key part of TWC’s game plan moving forward, which should hearten sales agents. With Glasser leading the negotiations, TWC often sets the market tone at any given festival. However, TWC has been surprisingly quiet on the fest circuit for the past 18 months.

Even before Glasser dropped his bombshell on Sept. 9 that he would return, speculation was rampant that Harvey Weinstein would likely make a splashy acquisition in an effort to dispel rumors that the studio is cash-strapped.

But Glasser insists that TWC is in growth mode and wouldn’t have returned to the studio otherwise.

 “There seemed to be a moment over the weekend when we hadn’t spoken in 6 or 8 weeks where we really got on the same page with the vision, what we wanted to do with the IP in our library, the ancillary businesses,” Glasser adds. “We spent the last eight years building this. We said, ‘We built this. Let’s finish this through.’ Everyone wanted me to replicate what I did with The Weinstein Company. We have great taste. Instead, I said, ‘Let’s bring the band back together.’”