Leonardo DiCaprio to Reunite with Martin Scorsese in Remake of The Gambler
08.29.11 by Ryan
2006's The Departed was, at the time, the third collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie, a remake of the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, won Academy Awards for both Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan.
Since The Departed, the actor and director have also worked on last year's Shutter Island, and the pair are looking to reunite for a fifth time with a remake of the gritty, 1974 drama The Gambler. Deadline reports that Monahan is writing the script for Paramount for Scorsese with DiCaprio now attached to star. The original starred James Caan as a professor whose addiction to gambling gets the better of him and flees to Las Vegas to escape the mob.
While fans of The Departed have to be pleased at the potential of a re-teaming between the movie's screenwriter, director and star of the original movie, there is one person who isn't happy about the remake at all: The Gambler screenwriter James Toback. Toback sent Deadline a message outlining his displeasure over the remake, which no one had bothered to tell him about.
It might seem odd that my initial response to the news of the purported remake would be something south of "flattered and honored," but the truth is that my main feeling was one of disbelief that I was learning of these plans at the same time and in the same fashion as any of the regular devoted readers of this column. It struck me as particularly odd since I have been a friend and unlimited admirer of Leonardo’s since our initial encounter in 1994 when we were, in fact, all set to close a deal on his playing the lead in Harvard Man — a deal sabotaged only by Bob Shaye’s overriding the greenlight which Mike De Luca had conveyed to [agents] Jeff Berg and Jay Moloney. Equally odd was not hearing anything from Irwin Winkler who, I was soon to learn, is to be the producer on this projected new version as he was on the original.
This current experience conjures up memories of a banker who owned Harvard Man and once said to me: "To you this is a movie. To me this is a pair of shoes. My pair of shoes. And I will do whatever I like with it."
Clearly, Toback really wanted a phone call about the remake — one he didn't get — Toback ended his long email by adding, "Rudeness, on the other hand, and disrespect yield their own unanticipated consequences."
In happier news, DiCaprio and Scorsese are reuniting!