Miramax’s ‘Debt’ & ‘Don’t Be Afraid…’ Delayed Indefinitely

The Weinstein Company also has pushed Julian Schnabel’s “Miral” to March 2011

(Update: 6:30 p.m. PST: The L.A. Times reports that Filmyard plans to find a different distribution partner to release "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "The Debt" after the Miramax deal closes. The report cites an individual who claims that Disney didn't want to spend money marketing two movies that it wouldn't own, since the studio initially agreed to release the films on behalf of the new Miramax owners in exchange for a percentage of revenue.)

John Madden's "The Debt" and Troy Nixey's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" have been postponed indefinitely as a result of Disney's pending Miramax sale, according to Deadline.

Disney recently sold Miramax to Ron Tutor and Tom Barracks' Colony Capital, but the deal won't be finalized until the end of the year or shortly after because of "logistical reasons" that are said to be a standard part of the process when dealing with such a major transaction.

Tutor and Barrack will call their new company Filmyard, which will serve as an umbrella corporation over Miramax.

"The Debt," which stars Sam Worthington (pictured above) and Helen Mirren, was set to open on Dec. 29, while the Guillermo del Toro-produce creature feature was scheduled for released in January.

No new dates have been set yet.

Meanwhile, the Weinstein Company has postponed Julian Schnabel's "Miral" until next March, TheWrap has learned.

TWC will have "The King's Speech" and the NC-17 marital drama "Blue Valentine" in the Oscar hunt this year, so the decision to delay "Miral" was likely a wise one, considering the mixed reviews that the politically-themed drama (starring Freida Pinto) has earned since debuting at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The Weinstein Company also has John Wells' corporate downsizing drama "The Company Men" opening before the end of year, which could also figure in the award season mix. The studio just released "Nowhere Boy" on the weekend of what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, but having seen that movie, I don't expect it to get any awards traction (sorry Kristin Scott Thomas!).

"Miral," Schnabel's follow-up to 2007's breathtaking "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," was scheduled to open in limited release on Dec. 3.

David Poland broke the unfortunate news late Sunday night on Twitter.