Mark Wahlberg will star as Paul Bennett, a literature professor with a gambling addiction, in crime thriller The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 film by the same name starring James Caan. Bennett’s gambling problem gets so out of hand that he ends up in debt to the mob.
The film also features Community’s Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams (The Purge: Anarchy), Parenthood’s Sonya Walger and veteran actors Jessica Lange, John Goodman and George Kennedy.
The film was directed by Rupert Wyatt, best known for helming 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Prominent screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) wrote the screenplay. A producer on the original movie, Irwin Winkler, returned to co-produce the remake, along with his son David.
Getting as much attention as the movie itself is Wahlberg’s dramatic weight loss for the role. The actor said he shed 40 pounds, bringing him down to a super-thin 150. The Daily Mail quoted an interview in which Wahlberg joked about how challenging the weight loss was, saying, “I’m trying to get as thin as I possibly can. I’m playing a literary professor who also has some serious addiction problems, trying to get ready for that. Anytime I smell food, I get crazy . . . my daughter was eating a blueberry scone and I was going to jack her for it. I was literally going to rob my almost 4-year-old daughter for her little blueberry muffin. It’s getting bad.”
The Gambler will be released in select theaters this December and open nationwide on Jan. 23, 2015.