LIBERTINE producers on a U.S. distribution deal: "We're waiting to hear~~"

Three of THE LIBERTINE’s producers, John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon, and Russ Smith, were guests on AMC’s Sunday Morning Shootout on September 26th, where they were interviewed by Variety’s Peter Bart and producer Peter Guber. Asked the key question–Did they have a U.S. distributor for THE LIBERTINE yet?–Lianne Halfon replied, “We’re waiting to hear.” Technically, that means “No,” but it does contain hope that a deal may be forthcoming.

Malkovich and his partners indicated that they chose to make THE LIBERTINE without a distribution deal in place because they felt they would have more artistic freedom to tell the story. Having a distributor on board from the beginning or being tied to a major studio for funding would bring a certain amount of interference; the distributor’s focus would be on making the film as marketable as possible. The half-hour focused more on analysis of the producer’s job and of Malkovich’s decisions than THE LIBERTINE itself (perhaps this had to do with its still being a work-in-progress and not a candidate for critical commentary yet). The only discussion of Johnny had to do with how much his star status helped the producers obtain the necessary financing.

Asked if THE LIBERTINE’s sexual content might result in an NC-17 rating, Malkovich flashed a sly smile and replied, “It might be close.” Close . . . but the implication behind Malkovich’s remark was that although THE LIBERTINE might push the boundary of the R rating, the film would still come away with an R. That should reassure any prospective distributors who might have been watching Sunday Morning Shootout.

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