New York Film Locations

Rounders Looks to Buy Back Into the Game

7 May 2015

otsoNY welcomes back guest writer Miles Templeman.

Hot off of his Academy Award nominated performance in Birdman, it looks like Edward Norton and company will be upping the ante once again with a sequel to the classic poker flick, Rounders. Word on the street from Matt Damon is that he, Norton, and John Malkovich are all very interested in reprising their original roles from the late '90s classic, which has poker fans and film buffs alike buzzing with excitement and placing their bets.

The original 1998 cult classic not only helped to solidify the star status of Norton and Damon but was also instrumental in sparking the rise in popularity of Texas Hold 'Em Poker as its card-sharking duo made their way from table to table to rake in the big bucks.

(Film: Rounders)

Much like a game of cards, the movie found itself in the right place at the right time with all the right people to quickly become a staple selection for any poker player's Blu-Ray shelf or streaming queue. The film showcased impressive performances by future A-listers Norton and Damon as well as strong supporting work from the likes of John Turturro, Boardwalk Empire's Gretchen Mol, X-Men's Famke Janssen, and Malkovich. And it did so while introducing the exciting and fast-paced world of high stakes Hold 'Em complete with lights, camera, and plenty of action.

The film took its viewers from friendly games with pals, cops and colleagues to university tournaments and glamorous casinos. Norton's now famous character, Worm, in particular was a huge fan of the opulent Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with its combination of bright lights, sophisticated atmosphere, and modern flair bringing all the glitz of the best of Las Vegas to the East Coast. As Worm said, the one thing that would always cheer him up was "Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the Taj, 'where the sand turns to gold.'"

Shot on location in and around New York City and the legendary casinos of Atlantic City, the movie took its audience on a full tour of the wild world of poker in the Big Apple with a grit and realism that let people really feel the felt and energy that surrounds the game. It wasn't long after the release of Rounders that the World Series of Poker became a household name as well as regular required viewing on ESPN. It quickly took dorms, basements and some of the best casinos in the world by storm. Many amateur card players began to share the dream of Damon's Mike McDermott, who famously quipped that, "First prize at the World Series of Poker is a million bucks. Does it have my name on it? I don't know. But, I'm gonna find out." It was apparent that Damon wasn't the only one with his eyes on the prize as millions of players across the country looked to find out for themselves.

But don't hedge your bets quite yet. Audiences may be stuck sitting through a few hands waiting for the much anticipated Rounders 2 as it currently sits in development but is still on the list of future sequels from powerhouse producer Miramax. So keep your fingers crossed and keep checking your cards and the web for more news.

Submitted by Miles Templeman


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