As he just began shooting The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese must have remembered that, no, he can’t direct every film on his slate. The first casualty of his realigned priorities is no surprise: The Gambler, a remake of the James Caan-led 1974 drama — as well as, technically, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s novella — in which an English teacher sinks to awful depths when his gambling addiction takes hold. Leonardo DiCaprio, in a little factoid you surely knew without even looking, was even being considered to star.
That’s out the window, and THR now informs us the project has come into the hands of Todd Phillips. The Hangover helmer, now already in talks, is Paramount’s new top pick for The Gambler, which William Monahan has already completed his screenplay for. (The biggest alteration mentioned here is a switch from New York City to Los Angeles, with the character now teaching English at UCLA.) A clever visual reference to Casino in the original Hangover notwithstanding, it’s a transition you wouldn’t think of off the top of your head — but it does make sense.
After all, Phillips‘ comedies tend to have a much darker bent than your typical studio entry — compare the conclusions of his movies to the works of, for instance, Judd Apatow, for all proper evidence — with his recent franchise also having a certain emphasis on a city’s criminal underbelly. While The Gambler is a straight-out drama and will still be a heavier, darker story than three guys trying to find their missing friend, the guy’s prior work shows that it could work. With Monahan having done the screenplay, I’ll keep an ear out and some expectations relatively positive.
Is Phillips a smart pick to handle The Gambler?
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not […]
In the case of evaluating David Cronenberg, — or at least forming the sort of career narrative seemingly essential to auteurist analysis — it’s inevitable to propose something of a rupture within his oeuvre: the very evident graduation from grindhouse to arthouse, and, with it, an ascension from body to mind. What dictated these labels […]
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. If we were provided screener copies, we’ll have our own write-up, but if that’s not the case, one can find official descriptions from the distributors. Check out […]
Writing about the films of Robert Bresson usually begins by informing reader that his films must be discussed through a trance of hushed tones and quiet veneration. There is no room for rushed judgement or quick-witted observations; Bresson makes Serious Art, as opposed to Hollywood directors who do not. There are the key phrases to […]
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