Polanski’s ‘Ghost’: Summit Remains Bullish Despite Director’s Woes

With Roman Polanski under house arrest in Gstaad as he faces the possibility of U.S. extradition, his film career at least looks like it’s back on track, Peter Bart writes in Variety.

The Ghost will premiere in the main section of the Berlin Film Festival, while rights to the $35 million Polanski-directed film have been sold around the world. Summit last week acquired the film for North America. But, according to Variety, The Ghost will likely stir up controversy on two levels, the distributors realize.

There is first the possibility of Polanski’s extradition; the second is the film’s subject matter. The story deals with Tony Blair’s role in the war in Iraq and suggests Blair was conned by President Bush into an Iraq intervention and that Blair’s wife, Cherie, was complicit and may even have had a CIA connection.

Summit’s bosses don’t seem overly concerned, however. “We think the movie is an outstanding Hitchcockian thriller,” Patrick Wachsberger, who runs Summit with Rob Friedman, told Variety.

“Roman is a well-respected artist and people will judge his film as art,” Friedman said.

“If the movie is great, Polanski’s name will be a positive,” Wachsberger told the trade. “If it is average, his problems may possibly become a negative. But we think it is great.”

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