Miramax is dead, but founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein are planning to play with its corpse. According to Deadline, The Weinstein Company has struck a deal that will allow them to raid Miramax’s library and develop sequels and series based on old hits. The standouts of their plan include sequels to Shakespeare in Love and Rounders and TV series based on Good Will Hunting and Flirting with Disaster. There will also be a few in-development stories that TWC is transferring to their own development slate. Notably, they’ll be handling The Alibi, a comedy written by Stephen Colbert that’s about creating alibis for cheating spouses. There’s also The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, “a script that was being developed by the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack,” based on the novel of the same name by Liz Jensen.
Hit the jump for more on what the Weinsteins have planned for their older titles. Prepare to shudder.
I personally have never made a sequel, but I will make Shakespeare in Love as one. I’ve always wanted to do that and now we have the impetus to. There is so much intellectual property, and we’re in an age where, for however long it lasts, content is king.
Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare in Love or not, you can almost hear Weinstein drool when he says that. And of course he wants to make a sequel to Shakespeare in Love. It’s the first movie that won him an Oscar, and was a huge part of making Miramax a legitimate powerhouse in Hollywood. I’m not surprised he wants to bring that “magic” to his second company.
While Rounders was more of a cult hit, Weinstein thinks the stars are already aligned for a new installment:
“I’ve discussed making Rounders 2 with Matt Damon and I would say that’s going to be instantaneous,” Weinstein continued. “The guys [writers David Levien and Brian Koppelman] have a great idea, a way to make it more international where you start the card game in Paris, that’s all I want to say. There might be a certain beautiful Parisian actress involved in it, and then we’re off to the racetrack and Vegas with Matty and Edward Norton, and a new supervillain to replace John Malkovich.” Weinstein is eyeing Robert De Niro for that role.
Yes. Teddy KGB is a “supervillain”. He eats Oreo Cookies of Doom.
Deadline doesn’t have any details about what Weinstein has in store for Good Will Hunting or Flirting with Disaster, and I wonder if he has any plans for them at all other than “make them into TV shows.” Weinstein may be crass, overbearing, egotistical, and other off-putting character traits, but he’s also business savvy, and he knows that TV is where audiences are flocking due in part to OnDemand and the ability to binge-watch. “In an age where there is so much demand for television, we see a lot of TV series,” says Weinstein. While I’m sure there are some golden calves TWC won’t touch in respect towards certain partners (i.e. don’t expect series based on Tarantino’s movies without the director’s blessing), I can only imagine the dark imagination of turning beloved indies into cheap and easy “content”.
But again, Weinstein is a savvy guy, and he’s only doing what every other film studio is doing. But just because it’s common, that doesn’t make it any less disheartening.