Weinstein KO’s Rudin Over ‘Reader’ Release

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Only one man is left standing in Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein’s behind-the-scenes battle over The Reader: Rudin and Weinstein co-produced the film but clashed when Weinstein attempted to push its release date up to December so that Winslet’s Oscar-appropriate role (she has to act as both a young and old woman; also, there are Nazis) could be considered for this year’s awards. Rudin balked because his other prestige release, Revolutionary Road, has also been garnering Oscar buzz for Winslet — but actors cannot be nominated twice in the same category, meaning releasing The Reader early could theoretically split the Winslet vote. Rumors abounded, including that Winslet threatened Weinstein with an embargo on Oscar campaigning if he pushed up the release date.

But guess what? He pushed it up! In a joint press release, the producers say, "We are issuing this statement together to emphasize the fact that we are in complete agreement on the date we have chosen to release 'The Reader.' Working together, we developed a plan to extend the post-production schedule in order to give [director] Stephen Daldry the additional time he needs to successfully complete the film in time to release it on December 12, 2008." The L.A. Times calls it a truce — we guess this is one of those truces where only one guy gets his way. So that's it? Maybe someone should check with Scott Rudin's assistant, just to make sure the producer isn't bound and gagged in a basement somewhere.

Rudin and Weinstein issue Oscars truce over 'The Reader' [Gold Derby/LAT]