Could supporting Moore film hurt Miramax heads? Cochairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein are clashing with Disney over the release of ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' -- and their contracts are up in 2005

By Joshua Rich
Updated May 28, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

The recent ”Fahrenheit 9/11” imbroglio — which saw Disney honcho Michael Eisner refuse to distribute Miramax’s inflammatory documentary — is just the latest hiccup in a tough negotiation between Disney and Miramax cochairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein, whose contracts could expire in 2005. Reports say that Disney plans to scale back the $700 million annual budget of Miramax, a company it has owned for more than a decade and whose valuable name and $2 billion library it doesn’t plan on selling, regardless of whether the boisterous brothers stick around. While industry buzz has the Weinsteins moving on to do anything from running United Artists to setting up a new studio, both possibilities ring of bargaining-table ploys. EW’s prediction? The appeal of staying with the movies they nursed to maturity and the firm they named after their parents, Miriam and Max, will ultimately win out — and they will stay with Disney. As Harvey told EW last year, ”Mom and Pop’s names are on the company.” That old softy.