Adapting a hit movie to television is a risky, but potentially rewarding move to make, especially in the current age of quality cable and/or network television programming. There are numerous small screen treatments of big screen fare in development right now – ranging from FX’s Fargo limited series (produced by the Coen Brothers) to a From Dusk Till Dawn program that Robert Rodriguez is shepherding – and a couple of said endeavors represent the handiwork of awards season bosses, Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
The Weinstein Company has just struck a deal with Miramax, several years after the two organizations parted ways; that means the Weinsteins now have access to what Harvey calls “a kingdom full of gold,” with regard to the properties they can now revisit from the Weinstein/Miramax prosperous partnership in the late 1990s. Back then, the pair teamed on films like Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare in Love, which both cleaned up at the Oscars and grossed nine-figure sums at the box office (compare that to the small gross accumulated by the Weinstein’s critically-acclaimed 2013 drama, Philomena).
However, according to Deadline, the first of these projects which may actually come together is a sequel to Rounders, the 1998 gambling crime/drama starring Edward Norton and Matt Damon; a film that earned respectable reviews, but tepid box office. Much has changed over the past 15 years and the Norton/Damon team is (arguably) far more lucrative nowadays, which might account for why Harvey Weinstein claims the Rounders sequel is “going to be instantaneous” – since the original film’s writers already have an idea in place, in addition to a “certain beautiful Parisian actress” and a villain role that they want Robert De Niro to handle.
Harvey also claims that he’s discussed Rounders 2 with Damon, which might also be a signal that a proposed Good Will Hunting TV series (with Damon’s participation and/or blessing) will happen sooner, rather than later. The award-winning 1997 drama snagged Damon and Ben Affleck Best Writing Oscars for their screenplay, about a troubled, foul-mouthed, lower-class Bostonian mathematics prodigy (Damon) who is helped by a somewhat unconventional therapist (Robin Williams, in an Academy Award-winning role).
There are several other Miramax/TWC franchise projects mentioned as possibilities in the Deadline report, including a sequel to Best Picture Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love and a Flirting with Disaster TV series, based on the 1996 film by David O. Rusell (American Hustle). In addition, the companies’ reunification promises to bring some original fare to see the light of day, including a comedy/satire called The Alibi written by Stephen Colbert, as well as The Ninth Life of Louis Drax: a long-gestating film adaptation of the acclaimed best-selling suspense/mystery novel by Liz Jensen, which was originally to be directed by the late Anthony Minghella (The Talented Mr. Ripley).
Meanwhile, the Weinsteins are moving ahead with a Scream TV series – with MTV to air the small screen version of the Wes Craven post-modern horror franchise – and intend to produce a Sin City television show, assuming that next year’s movie sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For demonstrates that the noir-inspired Frank Miller comic book property still has life in it (after eight years having passed since Robert Rodriguez’ original film adaptation).
Do any of these potential Weinstein/Miramax projects sound interesting to you? Let us know in the comments section!