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Top stars lined up for new gambling films

Punters who enjoy movies about their passion have treats in store following the announcement that two new films with a gambling theme will soon be in preparation.

Producers at Borsalino Films are lining up a star-studded cast that could include legendary actor Robert De Niro after acquiring the rights to Gary Green's gambling memoir, which relates a series of colourful anecdotes from the life and times of the entertaining casino boss, according to reports in the publication Digital Spy.

A writer and director are yet to be found for the proposed film adaptation, tentatively titled “Gambling Man”, and De Niro is among several actors being considered for the cast, although serious negotiations have yet to commence.

The film studio is being backed by investor money from China, and claims in a statement that “Gambling Man” is the first movie based on the first-person exploits of a genuine casino icon.

“The plot line will be nothing short of epic, like the book, pulling no punches as it traces the boss’s personal escapades through the history of the casino world from the last days of Meyer Lansky to Green’s adventures as a Donald Trump Vice President,” the company says.

“De Niro is certainly the most recognised of the actors we are eyeing for the lead in this landmark investment; but we there are several in contention and we have not even begun official talks,” confirmed Lu Nay, of Puji Capital, one of the Shanghai, China groups funding the Borsalino project.

Fans of the 1974 gambling movie classic starring James Caan and Lauren Hutton, “The Gambler”, will be delighted to hear that a remake is in the works at Paramount and will star Mark Wahlburg and acclaimed veteran actress Jessica Lange.

Wahlberg will reportedly play the role Caan made famous – a college professor who develops a compulsive gambling habit.

Brie Larson is reportedly “in discussions” for a role as well. The original movie was scripted by James Toback, although the 1867 source story has been filmed several times.

Writer and director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is being sought to direct the remake.

The new version, scripted by William Monahan, is described by studio material as a “…crime drama that follows a literature professor whose gambling addiction lands him in hot water with his girlfriend, his mother and some unsavory gangsters.”

The Gambler has no release date yet.

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