Just announced, Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg and written by William Monahan will have its world premiere at AFI Fest, another last minute entry into the Oscar race that will either fake it or make it Monday, November 10.
The Gambler is about “A literature professor with a gambling problem runs afoul of gangsters.” The already crowded Best Actor race might have another contender in Wahlberg who “dropped 61lbs for his role as Jim Bennett, going from 198lbs to 137lbs by doing a diet consisting of mostly liquid food and veggies and a workout of strictly cardio.
Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance. Produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff and David Winkler. Based upon the film written by James Toback with a screenplay by William Monahan. Directed by Rupert Wyatt.