Rounders 2 is a Go

Actors Matt Damon and Edward Norton will reprise their roles as Mike and “Worm,” as Rounders 2 finds backers in Miramax and Qatar Holding.

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Rounders 2Actors Matt Damon and Edward Norton will reprise their roles as Mike and “Worm,” as Rounders 2 finds backers in Miramax and Qatar Holding.

Fifteen years ago the story of Mike McDermott triggered a revolution in the poker world; one that would come to full fruition five years later when amateur Chris Moneymaker would take down the WSOP Main Event title.

And although it didn’t perform well in theaters, Rounders would become a cult classic, revered and adorned by aspiring poker players the world over. And despite its gross stereotypes and exaggeration of fundamental poker rules, Teddy “KGB”, Mike and “Worm” have retained a special place in poker lore to this very day.

For the past several years, there has been an inspired call for a Rounders sequel.  Unfortunately, the companies that controlled the rights to the film proved reluctant to get on board. That is until now. According to Deadline Hollywood, The Weinstein Company will join forces with Miramax to create Rounders 2.

The film will feature original cast members Matt Damon and Edward Norton, and will take place in Paris and Las Vegas. It appears that John Malkovich will not reprise his role as Russian mob leader and underground poker kingpin KGB, which is unfortunate.

However, it is rumored that the Weinstein Co. is interested in casting Robert De Niro in the role of poker villain.

According to film producer Harvey Weinstein,

I’ve discussed making Rounders 2 with Matt Damon and I would say that’s going to be instantaneous.

Writers David Levien and Brain Koppelman, who also penned the first film, told reporters in October that the story of Rounders 2 was already written, the original actors were on board, and that directed John Dahl was devoted to making the film happen.

Rounders 2 will be financially backed by investment group Qatar Holding. Established in 2006, Qatar Holding LLC is primarily known for investing in strategic public and private equity investments, but does deal with direct investments as well.

Due to poker’s current popularity and the more international appeal of the sequel’s premise, it stands to reason that Rounders 2 will outperform its predecessor by a significant margin. The first film cost approximately $12 million to produce, and grossed $23 million, although DVD and Blu-Ray sales have brought that number up substantially.

So will we finally find out what happened to Mike McDermott when he traveled to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP Main Event? It looks like the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

If you have an IMDbPro account, make sure to keep an eye on the Rounders 2 page at IMDB.