Director Todd Phillips has been a pretty hot commodity since he spawned The Hangover trilogy. Not only did this validate that he is more than a one hit wonder (referring to Old School,) but it also affirmed him as a pretty decent talent behind the camera no matter what he does. Even when The Hangover was not making us laugh, it impressed us with the way it was shot and the mode of story telling that Phillips chose.
That said, THR is reporting this evening that the man is prepared to hang up the laugher for a turn in another genre. Phillips is currently in talks to helm The Gambler–an adaptation of Paramount’s 1974 film which starred James Caan as a literature professor with a gambling addiction that lands him in hot water. This is a very sincere project and to illustrate that, just last August it was announced the Leonardo DiCaprio might be starring in the remake with an eye of Martin Scorsese for the director’s chair.
While it would appear the DiCaprio is now gone from the project (unconfirmed, only assumed because there is no mention of him in THR’s story,) it is worth noting that the screenplay does come from Scorsese collaborator William Monahan who adapted The Departed. Producing will be Irwin Winkler who also produced the original.
The Gambler is being setup to film right after production ends on The Hangover Part III. Seeing how the trilogy-ender is set to release on Memorial Weekend 2013, it would be wise to assumed a 2013 start date should everything work out.