Miramax, that formerly great independent studio now relegated to an empty shell and a backlog of hits, continues rising from the dead despite all odds. Sold last week by Disney to a group of investors, Miramax now has a CEO-- Michael Lang-- and big plans to start acquiring films and making money off its back catalog of movies. And to kick off that effort, they're teaming up with The Weinstein Company to make a bunch of sequels you never expected-- sequels to Bad Santa, Shakespeare in Love and Rounders, and maybe even more from there.

There's a lot of shock to process here, start with the very fact that Harvey and Bob Weinstein are teaming back up with Miramax after being ousted from the company in 2005; yes, they're participating in getting Scream 4 out in theaters next spring, but that seemed more like an effort of convenience than the beginnings of a beautiful friendship. Then there's the entire idea of a Shakespeare in Love sequel seeming like a good idea to anyone. Other potential sequel fodder in the Miramax vault includes Bridget Jones's Diary, From Dusk Till Dawn, Swingers (hey, Jon Favreau's schedule just cleared up), and of course Clerks. The good news is that they're not just focusing on sequels but will also be producing new fodder for Blu-Ray releases-- I can't wait to hear some stories from back in the mid-90s glory days-- and TV projects as well, which could stand a lesser chance of utterly destroying the legacy of many of these films. I guess we should be grateful they're not trying to toss a Pulp Fiction sequel in there too?

I know it's a total knee-jerk reaction to hate the idea of any sequel no matter what, but these seem especially boneheaded, sequels coming 10 and 15 years after the original films and totally unlikely to bring back the talent that made them worthwhile to begin with (though, OK, the Bad Santa sequel has a fighting chance at being worthwhile). Seriously, how do you even start to conceptualize a Shakespeare in Love sequel, when the entire movie ended with the lovers separated for a lifetime? Does Will just move on to fall in love with a woodsprite who inspires A Midsummer Night's Dream? Your best suggestions welcome in the comments.

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