More speculation today surrounds the whereabouts of Precious (née Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire), the celebrated, Benjamin Bratt-terrifying drama that won last month's Sundance Film Festival before tumbling into bidding-war lawsuit limbo.
We'd really hoped this one would be visiting your neighborhood sooner than later. Alas, Precious, featuring Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz, lauded newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, and Mo'Nique in a career-defining performance as an abusive mother from hell, quietly disappeared this week from its prestigious closing-night slot at New York's New Directors/New Films festival. Sources point to the studio's open-ended legal standoff with Harvey Weinstein as a serious threat to seeing a deglammed, mustachioed Carey back on the big screen any time soon.
It's probably the most significant such drama since 2005, when Fox Searchlight jacked Jason Reitman's Toronto Film Festival hit Thank You For Smoking from the dozing Paramount Vantage. And in any event, it's a 180-degree reversal from Precious's trajectory out of Park City, where news of a big-time deal with Lionsgate, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey accompanied its Grand Jury Prize. That wasn't the only accompaniment, however; The Weinstein Company soon intervened, claiming that they had a deal to release the film domestically. Breach-of-contract suits and countersuits followed — none of which are yet resolved, we hear, indefinitely postponing Precious's appearance anywhere outside Sundance.
Meanwhile, a Lionsgate representative told us this morning that the film is on track for a fall release. Here's hoping; Harvey shouldn't go hogging all the awards-season fun.