Channing Tatum Will No Longer Make His Directorial Debut with The Weinstein Company

Channing Tatum is pulling out of a project that was going to be his directorial debut, as he does not want to do business with The Weinstein Company in light of the recent Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.

Tatum announced this news on Facebook today, saying that he had one project in development with The Weinstein Company: Forgive Me Leonard Peacock. This adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel was to see Channing Tatum getting behind the camera for the first time, but he says he will no longer work on the project or anything else associated with the Weinsteins.

“Our lone project in development with TWC— Matthew Quick’s brilliant book, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock— is a story about a boy whose life was torn asunder by sexual abuse,” Tatum said on Facebook. “While we will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC, we are reminded of its powerful message of healing in the wake of tragedy.”

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum | Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

It was announced back in 2014 that Channing Tatum would co-direct Forgive Me Leonard Peacock alongside Reid Carolin, the producer with whom Tatum has worked on a number of films including Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL, White House Down, and Logan Lucky. The statement released on Facebook today was signed by both Tatum and Carolin.

The last we heard about the project was in 2015, when the film hired a writer in Mike Vukadinovich, Deadline reported. It was reported at the time that Tatum was still on to co-direct the movie. There have been no updates about the film since then, but Deadline in 2015 described it as being  “a priority for Tatum.”

Forgive Me Leonard Peacock was to be made with The Weinstein Company, and after co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assault by over 40 women, Tatum clearly did not want to do business with them anymore. The Weinstein Company presumably owns the rights to the book, and so Tatum would not be able to continue developing an adaptation for another studio. Therefore, he could either choose to leave the project entirely or work with The Weinstein Company, and he chose the former option.

“The brave women who had the courage to stand up and speak their truth about Harvey Weinstein are true heroes to us,” Tatum said on Facebook. “They are lifting the heavy bricks to build the equitable world we all deserve to live in.”

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Bob Weinstein has attempted to distance himself from his brother and has struggled to keep the company afloat. But it seems unlikely that the studio will be able to survive much longer, even though it is expected to change its name; it doesn’t help that now, Bob Weinstein himself is also being accused of sexual harassment.

Channing Tatum at the premiere of Foxcatcher | Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

A number of projects that were in development at The Weinstein Company have already been canceled in recent days. For instance, Amazon and The Weinstein Company had plans to develop a David O. Russell show starring Robert De Niro, which already had a two-season deal and was to cost $160 million. But due to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Amazon decided to cancel this project altogether. The other show they were developing with The Weinstein Company, The Romanoffs, was already in production, but Amazon announced it would continue making it without The Weinstein Company’s involvement.

The Weinstein Company does already have a few films scheduled to be released in the next few months that it will move forward with, including Paddington 2 and The War with Grandpa. The studio’s film that was expected to be pushed heading into Oscar season was The Current War, but after the Harvey Weinstein allegations, it was delayed to 2018, and its star, Benedict Cumberbatch, said he was “utterly disgusted” by Harvey Weinstein’s “horrifying and unforgivable actions.”