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Sequel to 'Rounders' Remains a Gamble

Harvey Weinstein last quoted as saying he's 'entertaining the idea'

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Matt Damon in 'Rounders'It appears poker fans are going to have to keep grinding out the wait for a potential sequel to “Rounders.”

About 13 months ago Miramax and The Weinstein Company announced an agreement that would facilitate the production of a followup to the 1998 poker cult classic — a film cited by many poker pros as sparking their interest in the game.

In a December 2010 press release film producer Harvey Weinstein said that he is “very close” to a number of films under the ownership of Miramax — a company he co-founded but later sold — and is “in the best position to create sequels that are at once worthy and compelling in their own right.”

Weinstein added that he was looking to get the new projects “into production as soon as possible” — but there has been no definite progress on “Rounders 2” since the announcement.

Variety reported that Weinstein made an offhand comment at a summer film conference, saying cautiously that he “never makes sequels,” but that a followup would be something he’d “like to revisit.”

He was discussing the need for a film to perform well theatrically, since the market for DVDs — where “Rounders” excelled — has dwindled in recent years.

The New York Post reported soon after that Matt Damon was seen meeting with Weinstein and the screenwriters for the original film, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, to start a script. Edward Norton reportedly would also return.

CNN spoke to Weinstein in November, and he said: “I’m entertaining the idea of doing a ‘Rounders’ sequel because there’s a side of the story that we haven’t told. I want to do it because there’s something that we didn’t say.”

Koppelman told Card Player last week that he didn’t have anything to say about the sequel. Miramax didn’t respond to a request for comment on the film’s progress.

The sequel originally had a release date of 2012 on the Internet Movie Database, but is currently pegged for 2014.

“Rounders” ended with Damon’s character Mike McDermott heading to the World Series of Poker.

Despite not yet making the trip to Las Vegas as the story’s protagonist, Damon has made appearances at the WSOP’s Ante Up For Africa charity event. He reportedly has also been a player in some of the high-stakes Hollywood home games that grabbed headlines last year when fellow actor Tobey Maguire ran into legal trouble.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus