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Harvey Weinstein used Good Will Hunting to mess with Robin Williams’ career, new book claims

Harvey Weinstein pulled a Robin Williams film from cinemas so that the actor wouldn’t make as much money, it’s been claimed.

Writer, director and actor Kevin Smith claims in his new book that the disgraced ex-film producer made the alleged decision in order to prevent Williams from making a large profit.

The film was Gus van Sant’s 1997 drama Good Will Hunting, which ultimately made $225m (£164m) at the box office from a $10m (£7m) budget.

However, the film is believed to have been prematurely removed from cinemas, despite the fact it was performing better than expected and earning awards attention.

Smith’s new book, titled Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash, says that Williams, who won Best Supporting Actor for the film, had a back-end deal that meant he would take home a larger portion of the profits if the film made over $100m (£78m). According to Smith, the deal would have seen him split some of the takings with Weinstein’s Miramax.

“I remember when Good Will Hunting was leaving theatres and it felt weird because it was like, ‘Wait? There’s all this Oscar buzz, so why would you pull it if it was just making money?” Smith wrote in his new book.

Robin Williams allegedly could have made a lot more money with ‘Good Will Hunting’

“And they did it because keeping it in theatres meant that more of the money would go to Robin, whereas the moment it went to video the split wasn’t Robin-heavy. It was hamstrung because [of] greed.”

In 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape and criminal sexual acts. Williams died in August 2014.