Neil Gaiman, who worked on the anime classic’s English screenplay, claims that Weinstein’s pettiness caused the film’s poor US box office performance.
Princess MononokeThe notoriously poor US release of Harvey Weinstein was the result, according to new statements from author Neil Gaiman.
In a new retrospective on the film released by the BBC, Gaiman reveals that a dispute over the length of the acclaimed anime film prompted the now-disgraced Hollywood producer to deliberately halt the film’s American release. According to him, Weinstein repeatedly tried to convince director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli to cut about 40 minutes of content from the film, believing the film was too long to appeal to American audiences. According to Gaiman, Weinstein insisted that American critics would hate the film, telling him, “Tomorrow the New York Times review will come out and say it’s too long. And then they’ll listen to me.” When critics began pouring out overwhelmingly positive reviews for the uncut version of Miyazaki’s film, Weinstein’s Miramax company suddenly stopped promoting the film, which Gaiman says was out of defiance. “Next thing I hear is the swanky launch and huge marketing rollout for Princess Mononoke What was planned wasn’t going to happen,” Gaiman said, adding, “It was supposed to launch in 10 cities with no particular promotional push behind it. Harvey didn’t even show up for the Hollywood premiere.”
Despite mostly positive reviews, Princess Mononoke earned just over $2.3 million during its theatrical run in the United States. Gaiman, who went on to adapt the film’s English screenplay pulp fiction director Quentin Tarantino Weinstein said that the sandman Being the ideal candidate for the job, the author still believes the film could have been a success if Miramax hadn’t withdrawn her support for the film. “I see no reason for it Princess Mononoke couldn’t have been released and done really well,” Gaiman said. The writer compared the film to coral, another mature-themed animated film that went on to become a huge box office success. “And the reason for that is because we had a PR firm that decided to target a lot of small groups, not just parents with kids. I see Mononoke and think if they went to people who like foreign films, who like Japanese culture, animation fans, horror fans, that could have actually sparked into a phenomenon,” the author explained.
Mononoke inspired Ghibli to send a message to Hollywood
Today considered as one of the best anime movies of all time, Princess Mononoke was the first Studio Ghibli film to be released by Disney under a deal completed in 1996. Miyazaki, unhappy with previous English adaptations of his work, reportedly only agreed to the deal if the studio promised not to cut or edit his work. To remind Hollywood of this aspect of the deal, Studio Ghibli producers presented the Miramax executives with a katana, along with a message that simply read “NO CUTS.”
Princess Mononoke, along with several other Studio Ghibli films, is now available to stream on HBO Max. The film is also available on home video from distributor GKIDS.