Posts Tagged ‘Justin Timberlake’

Rounders Sequel may hinge on “Runner, Runner”

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Ever since the 1998 cult classic Rounders was released, many poker players have been interested in seeing a sequel. After all, there are some burning questions that fans of the first movie have, such as the following:

– How did Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) do at the WSOP?

– Did “Worm” (Edward Norton Jr.) do anything worthwhile with his life?

– Is Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich) still hustling players in his card club?

– Did Joey Knish (John Turturro) ever grow the “stones to take a shot?”

Well our chances of having these questions answered may all depend on the success of a more current movie in Runner, Runner. The thriller, which centers on the shadier side of the online poker industry, has currently grossed $31,106,712 – just above its $30 million production budget. When its subsequent weeks and DVD sales are factored in, Runner, Runner could end up showing a profit against the $30m budget and undisclosed advertising/promotion costs.

If you’re wondering why a Rounders sequel hinges so much on Runner, Runner, it’s because writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien have a hand in both films. This duo wrote the original Rounders, and they also came up with the script for Runner, Runner. Assuming this anti-online poker flick takes off, it could convince investors that Koppelman/Levien’s Rounders II concept is worthwhile. The pair commented on this matter by telling PokerNews the following:

We do, however, have the story for Rounders II worked out, and all the actors and the director of the first film are ready to come do it. It’s a matter of the companies who control the rights getting behind it and allowing it to happen.

What’s really cool is to hear that the guys who made the first Rounders so great – Damon and Norton – would be ready to come out and do a sequel. Now we just have to wait for the Hollywood politics and financials to play out before Rounders II becomes a reality.

AGA to use “Runner, Runner” as Fuel for Poker Regulation

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Online poker and casino gaming insiders are worried that the upcoming film Runner, Runner will have a negative impact on the game. As the trailer shows, Runner, Runner deals with corruption and cheating within the poker world.

Justin Timberlake stars as a college student named Richie Furst, who unfairly loses his tuition through a poker site. He then travels to Costa Rica to convince the poker room’s owner, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), to return his money. Block instead makes Furst his righthand man which leads to a world of quick money and fast cars.

The overlying theme here is that internet poker is run by sketchy guys who’ll do anything for millions. This much is clear from the scene where Affleck pushes some bound guy into the alligator-infested waters below.

That said, you’d think organizations like the American Gaming Association (AGA) would fear the worst with this film. After all, the AGA is a casino lobby group tasked with convincing more states and the federal government that online gaming is a good idea. But the AGA is actually hoping to use Runner, Runner to fuel their lobbying efforts and send an even stronger message to Washington.

As Reuters reports, AGA President Geoff Freeman plans to argue that Runner, Runner is a perfect example of what can happen in an unregulated online poker environment. Assuming the federal government were to legalize internet gaming on a national basis, it could cut out the “seedy” offshore sites.

Runner, Runner hits theaters on September 27th and is expected to be a pretty big box office draw. The film seems to be a takeoff on sites like Absolute Poker and UB Poker, which were both rocked by cheating scandals. Eventually, these rooms went offline along with millions of dollars in player deposits following Black Friday.