When the parents fight, it’s the children that always suffer, right? We hope you’re happy Harvey Weinstein because all your griping has blown up in your face and fucked “The Reader” beyond belief. Scott Rudin has just taken his name of the picture as producer which means this film is tainted goods three months before it even hits theaters. Here’s the backstory as to why:

You knew that when Harvey Weinstein got his way over producer Scott Rudin — so that Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader,” could open in cinemas on the 12th of December 2008 in the thick of the Oscar season — that it couldn’t possibly be the final chapter in their all-too-public display of corporate greed (the film is the final co-production of the late Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella no less, it’s great when you squabble over a project that respected and loved film giants that are no longer with us have belabored to get up on screen).

Rudin, who won an Oscar for last year’s Best Picture winner “No Country For Old Men,” and Weinstein, head of The Weinstein Co., have been at each others throats ever since 2002’s “The Hours,” and Weinstein’s persistent attempts to try and get his financially maligned company back on track by securing at least one major awards magnet only made matters worse. Starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, “The Reader” wasn’t ready and set for a 2009 release, but when Weinstein realized he had no Oscar bait this year, he kicked and fussed until he bent Rudin over backwards to agree to a December 2008 release (that of course puts Kate Winslet in competition against herself and her husband Sam Mendes with “Revolutionary Road,” a move that makes absolutely no sense unless you’re coming from a totally capitalistic and self-driven perspective — which Weinstein totally is).

Although all seemed to be at peace when the two Hollywood heavyweights released a joint statement saying that they were both committed to getting “The Reader” finished as quickly as possible for its shiny new release date, their forced, and very artificial, solidarity faded fast after over a week of suspicious silence. Patrick Goldstein reports (in your face Nikki Finke), that Rudin has finally taken his name off the project altogether, to try and mend any tarnished relationships and to focus solely on the two potential Oscar candidates he is already representing, “Revolutionary Road.” Kate Winslet has already made it all too clear that she would not promote “The Reader” if it were to conflict with the success of her husband’s film and put her in the position of having to compete with herself come Oscar night, and “Doubt” (another Rudin produced project).

Goldstein says, “Scott Rudin is walking away from “The Reader.” The Oscar winning producer, who has been embroiled for weeks in a nasty squabble with Harvey Weinstein over the release date of the film, has decided to quit the project and take his name off the film.” Although the director Daldry is contractually bound to get his film ready for December and some say he feels terrible that he ever agreed to do so in the first place, it seems as though “The Reader” has now been removed from The Weinstein Co.’s site altogether, so perhaps Rudin’s departure finally made Weinstein realize just how difficult handling the publicity and an extensive Oscar campaign without the help of Rudin and Winslet would be.

Either way, it’s kind of like Weinstein has unintentionally cut off his nose to spite his face. Harvey’s tactics have created a Solomon cutting the baby in two halves scenario handing him one and saying, “you happy now, dude?” Our guess is that after this mess it’s probably going to be relegated to 2009 if Harvey has a peanut in his brain. But the overall effect of Rudin’s self-removal remains to be seen. Talk about taking the long way around.
[Big Picture via In Contention] Post courtesy of Fataculture/Image: Defamer