After a brief but concentrated period of friction over the release date for their Oscar-bait drama The Reader, Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin issued a joint statement late Sunday confirming the film would arrive in theaters Dec. 12, 2008. Thus anticlimactically ended Rudin/Weinstein Death Match II, their first since The Hours, another Stephen Daldry film that endured a litany of tweaks and torment coming down to the awards-season wire in 2002. While Defamer scorekeepers last week favored Rudin in the tilt, a late flurry of Weinstein jabs sent the superproducer reeling to the canvas — or maybe not quite the canvas, but at least a sort of easy détente few saw coming when Harvey insisted on receiving Daldry's first edit a week from today. Let alone Rudin's congested awards roster also including Doubt and Revolutionary Road, the latter of which positions Reader star Kate Winslet in a potential race against herself for Best Actress. No word yet on whether or not Winslet will promote The Reader so close to Sam Mendes's Revolutionary Road or what kind of platform release the film faces with MGM out of the picture, but official word from Rudin, Weinstein and Daldry after the jump suggests at least three-quarters of a happy family:The Joint statement released Sunday was kind of lovely in an eerie, WTF way: "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," said Rudin and Weinstein. "Working together, we developed a plan to extend the post-production schedule in order to give Stephen Daldry the additional time he needs to successfully complete the film in time to release it on December 12, 2008." One report places that extended schedule at a full month, overlapping with Daldry's current adaptation of Billy Elliott for Broadway. By all indications, a Factory Girl-esque race to final cut was the last thing the director wanted (at least he can skip the reshoots), but he's got his public happy face on for now. "On their own, Scott and Harvey spent this weekend working together to find a way to accommodate my needs so that I may fulfill my obligation to the studio without compromising my vision for the film," he said. "I am thrilled and relieved that we have all found a way forward to work together to bring The Reader to theaters this year." Great — The Harvey Renaissance is back on! Let's keep it this way, Fanboys notwithstanding.
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