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‘The Gambler’ Finds New Blood with Mark Wahlberg and Rupert Wyatt

Written by on September 11, 2013 

Passed from one helmer to another like some Hollywood hot potato, the William Monahan-scripted remake of The Gambler may, years after its inception, have found a permanent home. After going from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio to Todd Phillips and, at that time, no note of a star, TheWrap report that two forces are, now, looking to take control: Rupert Wyatt and Mark Wahlberg, this respective director and star having their names bandied about as potential collaborators on Paramount’s title.

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer has already entered talks, though this stands as no guarantee that his name would end up on a finished picture: he’s been fairly liberal about attaching to to plenty of projects, with seemingly little in the way of actual progress on any of those fronts. (Wyatt is, no less, rumored for the director’s chair on Star Trek 3, something for which J.J. Abrams gave his own roundabout promotion of.) Yet, if nothing else, The Gambler offers a story at once more intimate and of a smaller-scale than anything he’s done thus far, what with its tale of an English professor whose professional and personal life is adversely affected by the lure of gambling — and, discounting the original James Caan-starrer, the picture is even a Fyodor Dostoyevsky adaptation. Does he want a bit of extra credit? One could do worse.

And the role at hand has been compared, rather positively, to those which Wahlberg took on in Boogie Nights and The FighterMonahan‘s screenplay is reported to offer “a juicy dramatic role he could really sink his teeth into,” something that should almost be put in italics — and therein lies a similar proposition for director and star: in-between the larger, more financially lucrative titles, an effort of a more grounded accord might “help,” insofar as any help is needed. It may not be Scorsese and DiCaprio, but these two are good enough.

What do you make of Wyatt and Wahlberg taking on The Gambler?

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