Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall (The Town) are at the top of the list to be cast as the lead roles in the Stephen Frears' upcoming film adaptation of the gambling memoir, Lay the Favorite. This casting isn't solidly confirmed, but they're two solid actors that would do a great job in the movie if cast. The film follows author Beth Raymer's story about how she became involved with some older guys who figured out how to gain an edge on the Vegas sports book system.
The script for the film was written by screenwriter D.V. De Vincentis. For those of you who aren't familiar with Frears or De Vincentis' previous work, they worked together on the film High Fidelity. De Vincentis also wrote Grosse Pointe Blank. Both of these are great films, and this creative team definitely has the talent to write a great, memorable gambling flick. In a previous interview he talked about the new project saying,
It’s a less violent, less sketchy version of the mob. This is the version of 50-year-old math geeks from Queens in basketball shorts who have pet guinea pigs….[The gamblers] have an intense pride in a very specific expertise — and a lack of socialization.
Society could use another great film based in the world of gambling. My favorite gambling movie remains to be Rounders. Lay the Favorite sounds like a really interesting story, and I'm looking forward to it.
Here’s the description of the book.
It’s hard not to like the breezy, ingenuous voice of this plucky protagonist who proves she’s game for any kind of new experience. Hailing from Ohio, Raymer eventually made her way to Las Vegas when she was 24 and found a lucrative position assisting a Queens-born, Stuyvesant High School-educated gambling operator, Dink Heimowitz. The lovable, irascible, big-bellied Dinky had shucked life as a bookmaker back in New York, having run into trouble, for professional sports gambling; he put Raymer and the other motley staff on the phones setting up bets for all kinds of sports matchups (baseball, football, horse racing, hockey) in order to find a line that gave him an edge. Dinky referred Raymer to a high-flying bookie on Long Island, Bernard Rose, who had his own offshore network. As girl Friday Raymer fetched doughnuts, placed calls, and acted as a runner, making wads of dough, but mostly Raymer cherished working among the assortment of gambling types, the low-end hustlers and misfits she chronicles with evident tenderness.