Will THE GREAT WALL Make Damon Push Ahead With ROUNDERS 2?

Matt Damon has been making headlines in recent weeks, and not just for his ongoing “feud” with Jimmy Kimmel continuing on Oscars night.

His latest film, The Great Wall has reportedly not been a hit with cinemagoers, as box office takings have fallen well below what was hoped for from the biggest ever US-China co-production and has even put future film projects between the two countries in jeopardy. But where does this leave Matt Damon? Obviously such a disappointment is not a great addition to his resume, so what could be next on his agenda to try and recover?

An old favorite

Of all of the films in Damon’s fairly varied filmography, it is fair to say that the poker film Rounders is not a major name. Released in 1998, the movie about the world of high-stakes poker is now seen as a cult classic. However, the star fired up speculation about a possible sequel to the film in an interview last year, when he mentioned that the film’s original writers – Brian Koppelman and David Levien – had come up with a new idea which would examine the changes in the game in recent years.

A different world

It is a fair point. The world of poker and casino gaming in general has changed significantly since the days of the original. Online casino game providers in particular have been a major development, with sites such as mFortune looking to entice players of all ages with no deposit casino options and other promotions. Damon touched upon the impact of such changes in the interview with Time, saying: “This young generation, they start playing when they’re in their adolescence. They’re looking at 10 hands at a time, playing for real money online. By the time they’re 21, they’ve seen millions and millions and millions of hands… It’s now gone into deep game theory.”

It is not just the experience of players which has changed. The evolution of technology means many people are also able to play poker via mobile apps and only communicate with others via text chat functions. There is also the more virtual option of Live Dealer games, where – using their PC or smartphone – people can play a game managed by a real-life dealer who presents via a video stream.

Another change has been the growing popularity of live streaming services such as Twitch, which has fuelled the growing trend of audiences following the poker adventures of those players who are brave enough to broadcast their games to the world.

Former glories

So there would be plenty for a new Rounders film to consider, but is it genuinely likely that Damon would make the move? Well, it is safe to say that he does have a history of revisiting past successes. It is after all only a year since he and director Paul Greengrass teamed up again to bring Jason Bourne back to the big screen. As he is not averse to trying to capture former glories, perhaps a Rounders sequel may well be a logical step towards recovery from The Great Wall’s disappointing performance.

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