Weinstein Co. makes deal with 'Mother'


TORONTO -- In the latest deal closed from the Toronto International Film Festival, the Weinstein Co. paid mid-six figures for all North American rights except theatrical and Canadian television for Dario Argento's "The Mother of Tears" from Myriad Pictures.

Italian maestro of horror Argento's characteristically campy and gory thriller is the finale to the "Three Mothers" trilogy that includes 1977's "Suspiria" and 1980's "Inferno." It drew a round of humorous text messages among acquisitions execs and kindred spirits during its opening-night Midnight Madness premiere at Toronto.

The director's daughter, Asia Argento, stars as the curator of a Rome museum housing an evil urn. Beautiful witches appear, and a scary monkey chases the unfortunate curator in the feature, which sports performances by Udo Kier and Asia's mother, Daria Nicolodi.

Myriad will release the film in select markets in the U.S. and Canada early next year, and Genius Products will distribute the DVD domestically under its exclusive agreement with TWC.

"The passion that Harvey Weinstein, (Weinstein Home Entertainment executive vp) Barry Gordon and the TWC team had for the film ... got the deal closed," Myriad president and CEO Kirk D'Amico said. "We look forward to Myriad handling the theatrical release alongside their expertise and experience on the DVD and the rest of the media side."

The Opera Films/Medusa production is produced by Dario and Claudio Argento and executive produced by D'Amico and Giulia Marletta. Dario Argento, Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch wrote the screenplay.

Gordon and Eileen Rodriguez negotiated on behalf of the Weinstein Co. D'Amico negotiated on behalf of Myriad.