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'Rounders' Writer Still Has Movie On His Mind

Brian Koppelman Said It Took 3.5 Months To Write The Script


Despite his newest poker film (Runner, Runner) currently in theaters, Hollywood screenwriter Brian Koppelman is still thinking about his 1998 gem Rounders.

In the Twitterverse on Monday, Koppelman said that it was the 17-year anniversary of when he and co-screenwriter David Levien started penning the script to the poker cult classic.

Koppelman went on to say that it took three and a half months to write the first draft. He admitted that he had researched and generated an idea of what he wanted to write for a year previously.

The film later went on to play a key role in the game’s burst of popularity in the early part of the last decade. Many poker pros have said Rounders lured them in.

Runner, Runner, which hit theaters in the U.S. earlier this month, has received eye-gouging reviews (a New York Times critic: “It feels like a halfhearted bluff and has the stale smell of yesterday’s after-shave.”) and hasn’t fared too well at the box office.

It has grossed $45,259,246, according to figures from Box Office Mojo. It had a production budget of $30 million. It’s unclear how much was spent on advertising.

The movie staring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake came after years of speculation of a Rounders sequel. That apparently was delayed indefinitely.

However, Koppelman recently said in an interview that he has the story for a follow-up to Rounders “worked out.” According to him, it’s just a matter of the people who own the rights to the film figuring out how to make it happen, presumably the most profitably.

Since Rounders didn’t have great success at the box office, but performed well with DVD sales, and the DVD (and Blu-Ray) market apparently not being what it once was, movie executives are probably concerned about how much money Rounders 2 could make.

Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Mirimax, the company behind Rounders, said in a 2011 interview that “it’s become much more of a theatrical business because the movie has to work in theaters.”

“There’s no second chance,” he added.

Rounders had a $12 million budget and took in $23 million at the box office.