By Simon Dang | The Playlist January 22, 2011 at 6:14AM
Fast-tracked British star Rebecca Hall has now been confirmed for Stephen Frears' upcoming adaptation of Beth Raymer's Vegas-set coming-of-age tale "Lay The Favorite: A Memoir Of Gambling."
The actress had previously been reported as a "frontrunner" for the Focus Features project which reunites Frears with his ”High Fidelity" scribe, D.V. DeVincentis for Raymer's memoirs, which follows the rise of internet gambling and off-shore sports betting through the story of a woman in her 30's 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
Also noted as a "frontrunner" at the time was Bruce Willis and, while there's no updates on his potential involvement, we recently spoke with Frears at a "Tamara Drewe" Q&A in Melbourne where the filmmaker responded to grilling about Willis and Hall's (at the time) potential involvement with his fingers crossed on both hands. Willis is presumably being chased for the role of the Dink Heimowitz, a Queens-born, Stuyvesant High School-educated gambling operator who is described as "lovable, irascible [and] big-bellied." There had also been rumors that Annette Bening, fresh of her turn award-season spinning turn in Lisa Chodolenko's "The Kids Are All Right," had been offered a role in the picture but the director informed us that things didn't quite work on that front.
The project was originally described excitingly as a mix between "High Fidelity" and "The Grifters" with scribe DeVincentis adding that the gamblers "have an intense pride in a very specific expertise — and a lack of socialization." Frears confirmed the project will be his next film with production to begin sometime this year. [The Wrap]