Catherine Zeta-Jones Joins Rebecca Hall and Bruce Willis in LAY THE FAVORITE

     March 3, 2011

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Catherine Zeta-Jones has been largely absent from cinemas for the past several years, choosing instead to focus on her family. Her last film to be released domestically was 2008’s Death Defying Acts and she hasn’t attached herself to any projects for years.  But it looks like she might be getting back in the game as Deadline is reporting that Zeta-Jones is in talks to join Rebecca Hall and Bruce Willis in Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Beth Raymer’s memoir Lay the Favorite.

Hall would play a young woman who learns the ins and outs of sports gambling from her “lovable, irascible, and big-bellied” mentor/boss Dink Heimowitz (Willis).  Zeta-Jones would play Heimowitz’ wife.  Filming was originally going to take place in New York and Las Vegas in April, but has now moved to New Orleans for Louisiana’s preferable financial incentives.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of Raymer’s memoir.

Here’s a synopsis of Beth Raymer’s Lay the Favorite:

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. [Amazon]

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