The movie that helped spark the poker boom is returning to fire a second barrel. Miramax Films announced this week that it will be teaming up with the Weinstein Company to produce “Rounders 2,” a sequel to the cult favorite that was released more than a decade ago.
According to IMDB, “Rounders 2” is currently in development and scheduled to hit theaters in 2012. The cast and crew have not been announced, but Matt Damon (who played Mike McDermott in the first film) and Ed Norton (Lester “Worm” Murphy) have supposedly signed on for the project, as has original director John Dahl. It’s unknown whether John Malkovich (Teddy KGB) or John Turturro (Joey Knish) will return for the sequel, leaving fans to speculate where the story will take the lead characters this time around.
Miramax broke the exciting news in press release on Thursday: “Miramax and the Weinstein Company today announced an agreement to create sequels to some of Miramax’s best-known properties and to partner on potential new television shows and special edition home entertainment products. The first films to be produced under the agreement will be sequels to ‘Bad Santa,’ ‘Rounders,’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love.’” The list of potential projects listed later in the press release included “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Cop Land,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Swingers.” “Clerks,” “Shall We Dance,” and “The Amityville Horror.”
The Weinstein Company was formed in 2005 when Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the original founders of Miramax, left the company. Since leaving the Miramax studio, the Weinstein Group has produced critically acclaimed films like “Inglorious Basterds,” “Nine,” and “The Reader.” Before the Weinsteins departed, Miramax developed award-winning films such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Chicago.” Miramax opened in 1969 and was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 1993. Disney then sold the studio to Filmyard Holdings LLC earlier this year.
“We are very close to these films and the new management of Miramax also feels that we are in the best position to create sequels that are at once worthy and compelling in their own right,” Harvey and Bob Weinstein commented in a joint statement Thursday.
The news of the “Rounders 2” production status is very promising for poker fans, who have seen some dismal poker movies released over the past decade. “Lucky You,” starring Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, and several poker pros including Sam Farha, Daniel Negreanu, and Barry Greenstein, was a major flop at the box office in 2006 and wasn’t received well by the poker community. “The Grand” hit theaters in 2007 and was given similar disapproval. The film, an improvisational comedy set at a poker tournament, starred poker enthusiasts Cheryl Hines, Ray Romano, and Jason Alexander, but was bashed by critics.
There was also a scene in the most recent James Bond film (“Casino Royale”) that left poker players cringing. Daniel Craig (who played Bond in the film) slow-rolled three players with a straight flush for a $115 million pot – not exactly the way to win over viewers who regularly play the game.
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily as updates on this story unfold.