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Oct 23, 2013

"Rounders" Writers hopeful for Rounders Sequel

By RTR Dennis

15 years after it was released in theaters, "Rounders" is still far and above the best poker movie ever made. The tale, which follows law school student Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) through gritty, dangerous underground poker games, spawned a mini-poker boom that inspired players like Chris Moneymaker.


Interestingly enough, we never got a chance to see what happened when McDermott traveled to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP Main Event. Nor did we see if he ever kept in touch with his bad-influence friend, "Worm" (Edward Norton). But Rounders writers David Levien and Brian Koppelman still hold out hope that a Rounders sequel will be made.

The duo is actually quite far along with the project, and they are simply awaiting for approval from higher powers. Levien and Koppelman told PokerNews the following:

"We do, however, have the story for Rounders II worked out, and all the actors and the director of the first film are ready to come do it. It’s a matter of the companies who control the rights getting behind it and allowing it to happen."
Garnering a 65% approval rating from critics on RottenTomatoes.com, Rounders could largely be considered a cinematic success - especially to those who have already taken an interest in poker. But from a financial perspective, it isn't quite as celebrated.

The movie had a $12 million budget and made $22,912,409 at the box office. Despite the marginal profit, most people consider Rounders a box office bust when time and advertising costs are factored into the equation. However, the film did earn some redemption when its studio, Miramax, collected $70 million in profit from DVD sales.

The latter point might be enough to push Miramax into making Rounders II a reality. However, sequel hopes also rest with the success of Levien/Koppelman's latest theatrical script, Runner, Runner. Although Runner, Runner is quite different from Rounders, its focus on the online poker industry has implications on a sequel. So the writers are really hoping for Runner, Runner to do well in theaters.

Through one week, the movie has earned over $31 million, which is just above its $30 million production budget. And while critics have heavily bashed the film - leading to only an 8% approval rating on RottenTomatoes - it still could possibly make enough money through remaining box office sales to shed favorable light on Rounders II.