In addition to providing a much-needed artistic boost for Matthew McConaughey — which includes two fast-approaching Cannes debuts in Jeff Nichols’s Mud and Lee Daniels‘s The Paperboy — last year’s impressive The Lincoln Lawyer also seems to be working wonders for director Brad Furman. One of his upcoming projects, Cry Macho, an N. Richard Nash adaptation revolving around an international kidnapping scheme, sounds terrifically intriguing, while the other, Runner, Runner, has already booked Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake to co-star.
In Oliver Cooper, who appeared earlier this year in Project X, Runner, Runner has now found a third principal cast member. His character is “Andrew Cronin, a twentysomething Ivy League computer nerd who gets hired along with” Princeton student Richie Furst (Timberlake) “to work for Ivan Block (Affleck), an online gambling billionaire who works out of Costa Rica and whose business is even less legitimate than it first seems.” [EW]
As someone with more knowledge of online poker than is probably healthy, a lot of these character details — from the nerdy numbers geek to the international financing guru — ring a little bit like standard archetypes of this world, but that could, in turn, allow the actors to fill the formulaic personas with their own unique energy. It’s worth mentioning, too, that the writing team behind Runner, Runner — Brian Koppelman and David Levien — was also the force behind 1998’s Rounders, certainly one of the more popular poker movies of the past few decades.
Production on the film is set to begin in June, and I’ll be interested to see if any female cast members are added beforehand. Like Argo, another Affleck up-and-comer, the focus of Runner, Runner appears to be almost entirely male-centric. We’ll see if that changes in the coming weeks.
Do you think Cooper will be able to stand his ground against Affleck and Timberlake?
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