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Diaz & Firth Team for Coens-Scripted Gambit Remake

Diaz & Firth Team for Coens-Scripted Gambit Remake

Thompson on Hollywood

The Coen brothers’ screenplay update of Gambit — the 1966 Brit caper comedy that paired Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine as a waitress and a burglar–just landed Cameron Diaz to co-star with leading man Colin Firth.

The Last Station director Mike Hoffman will direct the Coens’ retelling, in which Londoner Harry Deane (Firth) is an art curator who plans an elaborate scheme to get a rich collector to buy a fake Monet. Deane enlists the aid of Diaz’s character, PJ Puznowki, a steer roping rodeo cowgirl. Shooting is set to start this May in London. MacLaine still speaks fondly of the original.

Short of the Coens directing Gambit themselves, this is one to look forward to.

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One of the world’s finest actors teamed with one of the world’s worst actresses. This just went from a must-see to a maybe.


Cameron Diaz. Why?


In December I watched the original movie for the first time. It was light and fluffy and very clever in parts and quite entertaining, thanks, mainly, to its cast. It could use a remake, though, something a little edgier and more suspenseful. The original didn’t have the urgency that a good caper film should have. You can have funny and clever, but give us some suspense. Nothing much was at stake. Not that I think Cameron Diaz can add much urgency. She’s not someone I’d normally root for. (I’m sorry…bad memories of the way she and DiCaprio ruined GANGS OF NEW YORK.) Colin Firth? I don’t know. I’ve actually never seen him in anything that I can recall. Can he pull off a Michael Caine? I don’t know. (GAMBIT was Michael Caine’s first Hollywood movie.)

Trivia fact about the original. The three actors whose names appear together on one card in the opening credits, Roger C. Carmel, Arnold Moss, and John Abbott, all guest-starred on “Star Trek” during its first season–which is exactly when GAMBIT premiered. (Moss’s episode, in fact, aired two weeks before GAMBIT’s NYC premiere.) Another actor in GAMBIT, Vic Tayback, guest-starred on “Star Trek” during its second season.


“… Diaz’s character, PJ Puznowki, a steer roper” – Really, a steer roper? I mean really?


Oh cool! can’t wait to see this!!!

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