It was sort of heartbreaking earlier in the year when The Weinstein Company failed to purchase Miramax back. It would have been a homecoming of sorts for both companies, and it promised a return to form for Miramax after struggling through the latter part of the 2000s with fewer titles (and far less edge).
The two companies have announced the next best thing – a long-term partnership. Unfortunately, that partnership is built upon producing and releasing a blight on the cinematic community. The two companies plan on releasing sequels to long-forgotten titles.
Unnecessary sequels are planned for Bad Santa, Rounders, and Shakespeare in Love. There’s something harmless about seeing Billy Bob Thornton back in the Santa suit, but do they expect to nab Matt Damon and Ed Norton back? Do they plan on getting Gwyneth Paltrow back into drag? Those aren’t necessary components, but without those main actor ties, the sequels – coming a decade late – would be In Name Only sequels. The worst case scenario is Miramax becoming the National Lampoon of indie companies.
According to the company announcement today, the other potential sequels would build off of:
- Bridget Jones’s Diary
- From Dusk Til Dawn
- Shall We Dance
- The Amityville Horror
It all begs the question of, “Why?” alongside the greater question of, “Why the hell?”
Miramax began its life as a firestarter, a challenging production house that made powerful films. Now in their second life (with their original fathers getting visitation rights), they are settling for money grabs based on movies that no one wants to see sequels from.
For example, there’s been some light talk from Kevin Smith about making a Clerks III and being done with directing forever, but if he doesn’t want to move forward on it, will they look to someone else to handle it? Will they be able to convince Jon Favreau to write Swingers II or to co-star in it? If not, why make it?
Shall We Dance was a forgettable romantic flick from 2004 that barely made its budget back domestically (but managed to make $170 million worldwide). Is there really a clamoring for it or will it end up like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights?
There’s just no creative reason for slapping an old title on something generic and calling it a sequel. Maybe this is the devil’s contract that Miramax has to take care of in order to get some cash in their coffers, but it’s the ultimate sell out move: making movies that no one wants to see that make more money than they should on name recognition.
It’s unclear as to whether they would be able to get old talents back, and if they can, this is the greatest announcement of the month. Damon and Norton back together at the poker table? Dante back behind the counter? It might be great to see the old friends again (even if it does cause a little heartburn).
If they can’t get the old talents back, then this is the biggest dump of unnecessary sequels ever announced.
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