In the Piers Morgan interview, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein said, “I have to just choose movies that aren’t violent or as violent as they used to be. And I know for me, personally, I can’t continue to do that. The change starts here. It has already.”
If the change has started, it’s hard to tell.
Weinstein’s future slate includes Kill Bill 3, Halloween 3 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. All these are notoriously ultraviolent movies.
Harvey Weinstein did leave himself plenty of wriggle room when he said, “I’m not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people and exploit people just for the sake of making it.”
That’s the familiar artistic merit clause which will allow him to go on being in business with Quentin Tarantino. Though he might have trouble arguing that Kill Bill 3 isn’t just some crazy action movie.
But the three movies named “Kill Bill 3, Halloween 3 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” tell the rest of the story. The Weinsteins are dependent on milking existing properties with endless sequels to help finance their more prestigious work. It’s a familiar model in Hollywood and the Weinsteins are throwbacks to an older Hollywood period.
The reason why Harvey Weinstein is lying about not making more violent movies can be expressed in one word: Dimension. After the Weinsteins sold Miramax and Harvey Weinstein made a comeback with the Weinstein Company, Dimension’s lower grade properties pay the bills.
Dimension is responsible for a lot of horror movies, horror movie parodies and assorted junk. Much of what it puts out is violent and ultra-violent. And whether or not Harvey Weinstein’s name is on the label, it’s his company and it’s not about to change any time soon.
Properties like Halloween or Kill Bill are reliable pay days when Harvey’s latest imported European Oscar-bait or hot-button issue movie may not be. Harvey Weinstein will make the Senator’s Wife, but he’ll also make the latest Tarantino and the latest slasher movie because it’s all about the money.
And this is what happens when Harvey runs out of money…
By the summer of 2008 the Weinsteins had gobbled up almost $450 million of their $500 million credit line. The resulting interest payments, $40 million a year, actually surpassed their total overhead. Today, Harvey shakes his head at the memory. “Bob and I had never done debt,” he says. “The investment bankers would say to us, ‘Debt is cheap money.’ No, it’s not. Debt can be the most addictive thing in the universe, and it can kill you. You get used to living high off the hog. It was intoxicating. And so in 2008, I just woke up and said, ‘This is crazy.’ ”
Violence pays the bills.