NEW YORK (AP) - While Harvey Weinstein has no plans to roar like the MGM lion before each of his movies, the Oscar-winning producer wants to turn the film studio bearing his family’s name into a recognizable brand. His wish list includes branding on par with Facebook’s F, Twitter’s T and Apple’s, well, apple.
While he says he will continue to use the “the black and white logo that looks like it’s from high school in 1954,” he’s letting his films this week do the talking _ or at least one of them.
Already in theaters is “My Week with Marilyn,” starring two-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. It’s based on the writings of Colin Clark, who spent a week with the iconic actress in 1957 while she was filming “The Prince and the Showgirl” in the United Kingdom.
But this is not another Monroe biopic. Weinstein calls it “a snapshot movie about one episode in her life.” He equates the film’s tone with his 2010 Oscar winner for best picture, “The King’s Speech,” about a speech therapist who helps King George VI.
With production credits in such Broadway hits as “Billy Elliot,” “The Producers” and “God of Carnage,” Weinstein always has his eyes on Broadway. He admits it’s a dream to bring “My Week with Marilyn” to the great stage in “five to 10 years.” And when that happens, he has his heart set on seeing Monroe played by singer Katy Perry, whom he met while taking his daughters to the annual Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden last year.
Weinstein’s other new film, “The Artist,” which comes out Friday, is a modern homage to the silent film era and was the darling of the Cannes and Toronto International film festivals. It was shot in black and white using the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
While the film is not your typical studio release, Weinstein doesn’t concern himself with such things.
“With a script or a book I try to do what would appeal to me,” he says proudly. “I’m not here to do the mainstream movies.”
And the results are promising. Weinstein likes the buzz both films are getting, but his source isn’t what you’d expect: It’s the RottenTomatoes.com website, which compiles reviews and assigns percentage scores based on the average.
“I just go to Rotten Tomatoes to check on who’s writing, and I read some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes,” he said. “I like the site. It’s fun. I like the interviews on the site.”
Weinstein was proud to report Wednesday the Monroe film was at 85 percent. And “The Artist” was trending a bit higher, based on reviews going back to April, when it played at Cannes.
“I wish I could brand the movies in a way so they would just look at the page and trust me rather than a critic or anything else,” Weinstein said.