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Bruce Willis Ready To 'Lay The Favorite'; Daniel Espinosa Tops Wishlist For 'Die Hard 5'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 11, 2011 at 3:57AM

This film has been brewing since 2009, but it looks like all the pieces are coming together for director Stephen Frears.
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This film has been brewing since 2009, but it looks like all the pieces are coming together for director Stephen Frears.

Vulture reports that Bruce Willis -- considered a frontrunner for the film last fall -- is in negotiations to join the recently cast Rebecca Hall in "Lay The Favorite." Based on the Beth Raymer gambling memoir, the D.V. DeVincentis (”High Fidelity,” “Grosse Pointe Blank”) adapted story follows the rise of internet gambling and off-shore sports betting through the story of a woman in her 30s who becomes involved with a group of fiftysomething math geeks in Queens who have worked out a way to rig the sports books in Vegas. Hall will play the lead while Willis will take the role of "Dink Heimowitz, a cantankerous ex–New York bookmaker" who previously apprenticed the young gambler.

But that's not all on that's happening on Willis' busy dancecard. As was reported back in December, there is no script just yet for "Die Hard 5." Well, there was, but 20th Century Fox were apparently not too thrilled by the draft turned in by Skip Woods and considering his previous credits -- "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "The A-Team" -- we're not surprised. So Willis is taking matters in his own hands and will be personally interviewing directors to oversee the development of the sequel and he's got a hot name at the top of his list.

"Snabba Cash" director Daniel Espinosa is apparently going to be the first one to get a call but let's just pause here for a moment. Espinosa is tremendously busy right now and is gearing up start lensing "Safe House" with Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington this month. "Die Hard 5" doesn't have script and at this point, doesn't seem to have a screenwriter -- that's going to be one very short conversation. While Espinosa is likely at the top of many lists for projects around town, it's a pretty safe bet that's not yet focusing on his follow-up to "Safe House" at the moment -- he probably wants to get his Hollywood debut in the can first. And how do we know this? Because we just spoke to Espinosa's management, so trust us there.

So it's a wishlist and we're sure the rumor machine around "Die Hard 5" will dredge up more names in the coming weeks; just think of any hot young director with one or two features under their belt and you bet they'll be on there.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Stephen Frears, Lay The Favorite, Die Hard 5, Bruce Willis


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