Disney Gets Merchant Ivory

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DISNEY STUDIOS has signed up the producer-director team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, the filmmakers who made the literary-inspired "A Room With a View" and "Howard's End." The three-year deal will provide for the development of movies jointly financed by Disney and released under the Touchstone/Buena Vista banner. Merchant Ivory Productions has a reputation for Oscar-quality films made with economy and style. "Howard's End" cost $8.3 million (average studio films cost $27 million). Other projects are: "The Portrait of a Lady," "Jefferson in Paris," and "Remains of the Day."

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