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Weinstein desires to be recognized as film brand

NEW YORK (AP) — While Harvey Weinstein has no plans to roar like the MGM lion before each of his movies, the Oscar-winning producer wants to turn the film studio bearing his family’s name into a recognizable brand. His wish list includes branding on par with Facebook’s F, Twitter’s T and Apple’s, well, apple.

While he says he will continue to use the “the black and white logo that looks like it’s from high school in 1954,” he’s letting his films this week do the talking — or at least one of them.

Already in theaters is “My Week with Marilyn,” starring two-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. It’s based on the writings of Colin Clark, who spent a week with the iconic actress in 1957 while she was filming “The Prince and the Showgirl” in the United Kingdom.

Weinstein, who heads The Weinstein Co. with his brother, explained the subject matter’s appeal to him.

“I wanted to be that 23-year old boy and spend a week with Marilyn Monroe and go skinny-dipping,” Weinstein said Wednesday. “Haven’t we all dreamed of being with someone that gorgeous?”

But this is not another Monroe biopic. Weinstein calls it “a snapshot movie about one episode in her life.” He equates the film’s tone with his 2010 Oscar winner for best picture, “The King’s Speech,” about a speech therapist who helps King George VI.

With production credits in such Broadway hits as “Billy Elliot,” “The Producers” and “God of Carnage,” Weinstein always has his eyes on Broadway. He admits it’s a dream to bring “My Week with Marilyn” to the great stage in “five to 10 years.” And when that happens, he has his heart set on seeing Monroe played by singer Katy Perry, whom he met while taking his daughters to the annual Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden last year.

“I think Katy would be perfect to play Marilyn Monroe,” Weinstein said, adding: “She would knock it out of the universe.”

Weinstein’s other new film, “The Artist,” which comes out Friday, is a modern homage to the silent film era and was the darling of the Cannes and Toronto International film festivals. It was shot in black and white using the original 4:3 aspect ratio.

While the film is not your typical studio release, Weinstein doesn’t concern himself with such things.

“With a script or a book I try to do what would appeal to me,” he says proudly. “I’m not here to do the mainstream movies.”

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