While rumors of his involvement in the studio's still-gestating "Star Trek 3" continue to pick up steam, it looks like Paramount has something else in mind for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" director Rupert Wyatt: a remake of their 1974 drama "The Gambler," this time starring Mark Wahlberg in the titular role originated by James Caan. Irwin Winkler, who produced the original, will be back performing similar duties for the remake, which was written by "The Departed's" William Monahan. Sounds like a pretty good bet to us.
James Toback, who wrote the original screenplay based on his real life addiction to gambling, has been outspoken when it comes to his displeasure with the remake. He claims to not have been consulted about the project, neither before nor after it was announced, and thinks a remake is a pretty terrible idea.
The remake was, at one point, thought of as a vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese, although that plan fell by the wayside, with "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips eventually attached to direct. That too failed to materialize and the studio went looking elsewhere. Wyatt had yet to pick a project to follow up his smash "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," a redo/sequel that took virtually everyone by surprise (he was attached to the sequel but left, to be replaced by "Let Me In" director Matt Reeves). He's been attached to various projects, including "Agent 13" for Universal and "Night Film" for Chernin Entertainment, but it's unclear how far along those are in development.
The last time Wahlberg worked with Monahan was on his Oscar-winning "The Departed." Earlier this year he starred in Michael Bay's dark comedy "Pain & Gain," and he will soon be seen in this winter's potentially Oscar-y "Lone Survivor" and will re-team with the director Bay for next summer's hulking "Transformers: Age of Extinction." If things go forward with "The Hustler," Wahlberg would play a literature professor (snort) whose problem with gambling lands him in a sticky situation with both his girlfriend and some unsavory thugs.