And who says originality in Hollywood is dead. Oh wait.
The Weinstein Company and Miramax announced a deal this morning that will find The Weinstein Company putting into production sequels for some of the highest profile films on the slate of the studio they once started, as well as partnering on potential television offshoots. The first round of sequels that will head into production include two films that have long been rumored for the sequel treatment and one that is totally out of left field. "Rounders," "Bad Santa" and "Shakespeare in Love" are all going to get a number 2 beside their names.
"Rounders," the solid 1998 poker drama starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton and directed by John Dahl has long been talked of for a sequel. Speaking to the film's original writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien earlier in the year, they mentioned ideas have been kicking around. "We've talked a lot about doing "Rounders 2" when we were making "Ocean's 13" and we were working with Matt again. We talked about it a lot and Edward came by and we had meetings and we called John Dahl, and he's in to do the sequel. It's just a question of when we're going to do it, when we have the exact angle in." Of course, it remains to be seen what kind of a shape a sequel will take.
"Bad Santa" has always had word of a sequel knocking around -- at least fan requests anyway -- so there may be many folks happy to hear that a drunken, offensive, loutish Billy Bob Thornton will (presumably) be back. The oddest of the lot selected has to be the 7 Oscar winner "Shakespeare in Love," which is also being primed for a sequel. We can only imagine it will take a very ambitious screenwriter to tackle that one, but the film was a worldwide smash and pretty much marked the peak of the Weinstein/Miramax golden years, so no surprise they want to circle back to that well.
Other projects being eyed for potential sequel or television outings include "Bridget Jones’s Diary," "Copland," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Swingers," "Clerks," "Shall We Dance" and "The Amityville Horror." In our opinion these all seem like sort of decent ideas for TV (although "Entourage" has mined the "Swingers" territory completely with far less wit and NHL '94) and we can see the potential there, even though it isn't particularly thrilling.
So even though the Weinsteins weren't able to buy back the company they founded and helped make their name, it looks they will still be very actively involved in some of its highest profile titles. Even it means exploiting a lot of their library into new money spinning ventures. A lot of these projects have had high profile talent around them and it will be interesting to see if the Weinsteins to try to develop these projects with those people again or simply piggy back off the titles to spin new stories that take place in the general world of the film. Probably a mix of both and likely depends on the film. Either way, it will be interesting to see how these projects slowly take shape.