After several weeks of negotiations, Bob and Harvey Weinstein have failed in their bid to buy back the once-great Miramax Films from Disney, with several sources close to the deal saying it all fell apart while lawyers were hammering out the finer points—specifically the question of where a reborn Miramax would fit into the brothers’ existing The Weinstein Company (which is a pretty good question, actually). The Weinsteins, who have had their own financial struggles of late, had reportedly partnered with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle to put together a $625 million offer that was supposedly accepted, with Disney expected to finalize the agreement and sign over the company sometime today. Unfortunately for the Weinsteins—but in promising news for all those Miramax employees who were laid off in January—Disney is now expected to move on and reopen talks with the second-highest bidders, investor brothers Alec and Tom Gores.
There’s no question that the Weinsteins’ drive to make a deal was for reasons more personal than fiscal: Ever since they first brought Miramax to Disney in 1993, Bob and Harvey Weinstein had been at odds with the family-friendly overlords, eventually finding themselves pushed out of their own company in 2005 and forced to watch it slowly suffocate. And while there’s probably no chance of reviving Miramax to its mid-‘90s glory days—and certainly the Weinsteins’ hit-and-mostly-miss record at The Weinstein Company doesn’t make a compelling argument for their ability to do so—it would be nice if someone got the chance to write a happier ending, even if that someone is the intensely unlikable Harvey Weinstein. In the meantime, Miramax is still (mostly) dead.