It's been a hot minute since Hollywood produced a poker movie. Although this new Russell Crowe film sounds less like a traditional poker movie like Rounders or California Split and more of a action-thriller genre with poker as more of a plot point or back story. Hey, at least they have 'poker' in the title, right?
'Poker Face' is still in the pre-production phase with Russell Crowe slated to start in the main role. Arclight Films will produce the film and provide the major financing behind the new poker flick, which will cost a pretty penny because Crowe is one of the highest-paid and most sought-after actors in Hollywood.
Crowe recently finished the fourth installment in the Thor series titled Thor: Love and Thunder, where he'll play Zeus aka the father of Thor. Crowe is about to start shooting Rothko, a biopic when he tackles the role of playing American artist Mark Rothko, who set the modern art world upside with his smudgy squares.
Crowe's latest film Unhinged (2021) is available on all video on demand services. Crowe plays a pill-popping oxycontin addict with serious anger issues who's also a road rager that takes out his angst on a mother and her daughter.
Crowe won an Oscar for best actor two decades ago with his iconic role in Gladiator (2000). That role was sandwiched in between two other Academy Award nominated roles in The Insider (1999) and A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Poker Face was penned by screenwriter Stephen M. Coates and Gary Fleder will direct. Fleder made a name for himself with the cult classic Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, but he spent the last decade as an acclaimed television series director.
Poker Face centers around a billionaire in the tech industry played by Crowe. He still holds petty grudges against old childhood friends and he hatched a plan to seek revenge on them through a home poker game at his swanky estate in Miami. No word on whether or not Crowe is a stellar poker player or he plans to use his tech savviness to bilk his old chums. However, the revenge game is interrupted by a home invasion and that's when the insanity begins.
If you asked me the elevator pitch for this movie, it's like Panic Room meets Rounders. Okay, that might not be the case, but that's how those Hollywood types talk to each other.
The last great poker flick was Mississippi Grind (2015), which came out over six years ago. Mississippi Grind features Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds as degen gamblers who hit up a bunch of small gambling joints on a road trip from Iowa to New Orleans to play in a big poker game.
Joe Swanberg, a well-known indie director from Chicago, released a gem called Win It All (2017). Molly's Game (2017), based on a best seller by Molly Bloom, was directed by Aaron Sorkin and starred Jessica Chastain.
Oscar Isaac will also play an actual poker pro that plays at the WSOP. Paul Schrader, from Taxi Driver fame, wrote the screenplay for The Card Counter and he also directed the film featuring Isaac as the cardslinging protagonist. There's no release date yet, but it's supposed to come out someone in 2021.