Mark Wahlberg in Talks to Squander His ‘Transformers’ Fortunes in ‘The Gambler’

By  · Published on September 12th, 2013

It’s been hard for Mark Wahlberg these last few years. He’s starred in both of Michael Bay’s most recent movies: this year’s Pain & Gain and next year’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. Standing near explosions, day in and and day out, and all he gets in return is more money than you or I could possibly dream of? It’s a tough life.

But things might just be on the up and up for the former Funky Buncher. Variety is reporting that Wahlberg is in talks to star in The Gambler, an update on the 1974 film The Gambler (which, in turn, was based off a Dostoyevsky novel called – you guessed it- “The Gambler”). As well, Rupert Wyatt, last seen directing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is in talks to direct.

This seems like a far safer pick than the last pair who were up for lead actor/director on the project (Leonardo DiCaprio and The Hangover’s Todd Phillips). The involvement of Phillips- who has only ever directed raunchy comedies (and a few early documentaries)- may point to this newest version of The Gambler being somewhat funnier than its previous installment. It wouldn’t take much, seeing as how the last Gambler starred James Caan as an English teacher who destroyed his life (and the lives of several others) over some very steep gambling debts.

Although The Hangover Part III had far more crime thriller in it than previous installments may mean that Phillips had just been using Zach Galifianakis’ goofball shtick in a failed bid to propel himself towards more serious dramatic fare.