Pollack's death casts doubt on production slate

Wed May 28, 2008 5:58am EDT
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Monday's death of filmmaker Sydney Pollack has thrown into limbo the many projects being developed by his production company, Mirage Enterprises.

Mirage finds itself in an unusual situation: Pollack ran the company with Oscar-winning "English Patient" director Anthony Minghella, who died March 18 following cancer surgery, and few companies have faced the death of two partners in such a short period of time. Pollack, the Oscar-winning director of "Out of Africa," succumbed to cancer, aged 73.

Insiders said Mirage projects -- those that are not partnered with other producers -- might find themselves under the wings of Pollack's agents at Creative Artists Agency and his family, who might try to keep them going. Another scenario is that Pollack's daughter Rebecca, who was an executive at United Artists, might take over.

"We're all flying a little blind right now," said one person close to Pollack's camp and involved in several projects.

Mirage, which has offices in Los Angeles and London, has a first-look deal at the Weinstein Co., and the company has said that it is intent on moving forward on those projects, including "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," which is going ahead at HBO.

Mirage's docket at the Weinstein Co. also includes the high-profile remake of the Oscar-winning German drama "The Lives of Others" as well as the adaptation of Allison Pearson's novel "I Don't Know How She Does It." The latter has David Frankel ("Marley & Me") attached to direct.

Other projects, most of which are book adaptations or international-flavored thrillers, include:

-- "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax," which Minghella adapted based on a novel by Liz Jensen.   Continued...