Scorsese and DiCaprio Re-Teaming for 'Gambler' Remake, Nobody Bothered Telling Original Writer Who Wrote It About Himself

August 29, 2011


So, as you may have caught at the tail end of the last post, Martin Scorsese will once again be directing Leonardo DiCaprio, this time in a remake of The Gambler that's currently being scripted by The Departed's William Monahan. Despite all the lingering remake weariness, it's undoubtedly one of the best teams we could have re-telling the story of a university professor's decline into gambling addiction (unrelated to Kenny Rogers' The Gambler '80s TV movie series about a cool old-fashioney gambler who looks like Kenny Rogers, sadly), so it's hard to complain about this one--unless you're the guy who wrote the original, that is. The 1974 film was directed by Karel Reisz, starred James Caan (in a Golden Globe-nominated performance), and was written by James Toback based both on Dostoyevsky and his own experiences as a professorial gambling addict. As such, it's a deeply personal film for Toback, and as such, he's pretty P.O.'d that he had to hear the remake news from the last person you want delivering any sort of big news to you: Rush Hour director Brett Ratner.

With Toback apparently rooming with Brett Ratner as he works on finishing his long in-development John DeLorean biopic script, it was only after Ratner's greasy finger scrolled down to this Deadline story that news reached Toback that his autobiographical story would be told again by some other writer. Anyway, now he knows, and he's written a huge opinion piece on the matter, if you're so interested. It should answer all your questions, except for all the ones we obviously have about living with Brett Ratner. I bet he fucks the bathroom up so much.

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