Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein has refused to allow Chicago director ROB MARSHALL to make his next film at rival studio COLUMBIA PICTURES.

Marshall is desperate to film an adaptation of Arthur Golden's 1997 novel Memoirs Of A Geisha, but is bound by a contract that requires him to make his next flick for Miramax.

And the director is less than happy with the situation - especially after Chicago made the studio over $470 million (GBP294 million) and won it six OSCARs.

A Miramax spokesman says, "We have a responsibility to our shareholders to realize the benefits of our contractual right to work with the incredibly gifted Rob Marshall.

"We're sure that Columbia will do a great job with Geisha, whether it's directed by Rob or someone else."

But a friend of Marshall has revealed the director is still optimistic.

The pal adds, "Rob is still hopeful he can work it out with Harvey."

08/09/2003 17:23