Tom Cruise's foul-mouthed, hip-hop dancing alter-ego Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder is generally acknowledged to be a harsh caricature of Harvey Weinstein. The latest move by Mr. Weinstein and his sibling, Bob, is unlikely to convince many people that both men aren't as bottom-line obsessed as Cruise's fictional creation.
The Weinsteins are teaming up with Miramax and have officially announced their intention to produce sequels to a number of popular titles, including the dark comedy Bad Santa; Best Picture Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love; the Vince Vaughn/Jon Favreau teamup, Swingers; and more than half a dozen additional films.
Miramax already has a couple of franchise reboots on the way in the form of Robert Rodriguez' Spy Kids 4 and Wes Craven's Scream 4, but most of these newly-announced sequels will likely feel like reboots more than anything - especially since most of the original cast members are unlikely to return, having moved on to bigger and better projects. Encouraging said performers back will be tricky since most of the films that the Weinstein's intend to sequel weren't successful during their theatrical run and have failed to garner a cult following in the years since.
Talk of a Bad Santa sequel has been ongoing for a while now, but now it seems that movies like the Matt Damon/Edward Norton gambling flick Rounders, the Americanized remake of Shall We Dance?, or even the 1997 Sylvester Stallone crime drama, Copland, could be getting their own followups. If none of these titles ring a bell, don't worry - you're definitely not the only one confused.
As for the sequels to pics like Shakespeare in Love and Swingers or the Weinstein's plans to release a Clerks 3... it's all kind of mind-boggling. None of these films really begged for a followup and a sequel doesn't even make sense in most of these cases. But of course, when has that stopped Hollywood?
Unnecessary sequels are nothing new in showbiz and they sometimes take several decades just to make it into theaters. Flicks like Indiana Jones 4 or TRON: Legacy took a long time to finally come together and - from a financial point of view - it makes sense that neither of those titles or a project like Ghostbusters 3 perished in development limbo long ago. It is, however, a big stretch to say the same holds true for most of the followups that Miramax and the Weinsteins have in mind.
A lot of these sequels will be direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray releases, but still - is there any sense in making most of these in the first place?