Exclusive: William Monahan Candidly Discusses THE GAMBLER, His Severe Bike Accident Earlier This Year, His Approach to Writing, MOJAVE, VENGEANCE, John Le Carre’s A DELICATE TRUTH, Television, and More

by     Posted 9 days ago


With director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) The Gambler opening soon, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed).  As most of you know from the trailers, the remake stars Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, affecting both himself and those around him.  The film also stars Brie LarsonJessica LangeJohn Goodman, and Michael K. Williams.  As you might imagine with a script by Monahan, the film is loaded with incredible dialogue and tense, edge-of-your-seat sequences.

Over the past few years I’ve landed a number of great interviews with Monahan.  While all the interviews were informative and insightful, I think the one you’re about to read is the best yet.  Not only is it really in depth and candid, but he talks for the first time about his severe motorcycle accident where he almost lost his foot and discusses the process of writing The Gambler and how the project came about, if he ever had to make huge changes to a project and why, his approach to screenwriting, the inception and intent of a great scene from the film that sees Mark Wahlberg delivering a lengthy monologue about talent, his thoughts on the current state of television, why he avoids writing about the middle class, the status of other projects like Mojave, American Desperado, Tripoli, Blood Meridian, John Le Carre’s A Delicate Truth, The Throwaways, Becket, Vengeance for Charlize Theron, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of William Monahan or simply interested in screenwriting, I promise you will love this interview.  Hit the jump to read.

Full-Length THE GAMBLER Trailer Finds Mark Wahlberg Wrestling with Very High Stakes

by     Posted 46 days ago


Paramount Pictures has released the first full-length The Gambler trailer for director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) remake of the 1974 drama, which was written by Oscar-winning The Departed scribe William Monahan.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, affecting both himself and those around him.  Maybe it’s the use of The Rolling Stones, but this trailer gives off a very heavy Martin Scorsese vibe to me.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and Wahlberg really looks to be giving a hell of a performance as his face evokes the toll this kind of stress takes on his spirit.  I’m also happy to see Brie Larson getting a co-lead role in a major studio film, and I’m eager to see where Wyatt takes this particular story.  So far, so good.

Watch The Gambler trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Jessica Lange, John Goodman, and Michael K. WilliamsThe Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th and expands wide on January 2, 2015.

THE GAMBLER Red-Band Trailer and Poster: John Goodman Has Some Choice Words of Caution for Mark Wahlberg

by     Posted 60 days ago


Paramount Pictures has released the first The Gambler red-band trailer for director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) remake of the 1974 drama, which was written by Oscar-winning The Departed scribe William Monahan.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, affecting both himself and those around him.  This is very much a teaser, as it’s essentially a sweaty onslaught of footage anchored by some excellent, expletive-filled dialogue from John Goodman, but it’s a really solid first look at the film.  Wyatt appears to be tapping into the anxiety and stretched-thin nature of Wahlberg’s lead character with his visual take on the film, and I’ve gotta say it’s really promising stuff.  I look forward to getting a better read on the movie when the theatrical trailer arrives, but for now this is a very swell tease.

Watch the first The Gambler red-band trailer and check out the first poster after the jump.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, and Michael K. WilliamsThe Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th and expands wide on January 2, 2015.

Mark Wahlberg Drops 60 Pounds in First THE GAMBLER Images

by     Posted 75 days ago


Paramount Pictures has released the first The Gambler images from director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) remake of the 1974 drama, and the first thing you’ll notice is that star Mark Wahlberg has undergone a pretty striking physical transformation for the role—especially in relation to his appearance in Transformers: Age of Extinction.  The actor plays a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, and Wahlberg lost 60 pounds to play the role.  Speaking with USA Today, though, Wahlberg says dropping the weight wasn’t the toughest part of the film: “Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words.”  Paramount is releasing the film in the heat of awards season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the pic can land Wahlberg another Oscar nod.

Take a look at the first The Gambler images after the jump.  A trailer should be debuting shortly.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, and Michael K. WilliamsThe Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th.

TERMINATOR: GENISYS Sequels Get Release Dates; Paramount’s THE GAMBLER to Get Limited 2014 Run

by     Posted 107 days ago


Well, if Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions’ fifth installment in the rebooted Terminator franchise is going to bear the title Terminator: Genisys, then it’s certainly feasible that the film’s follow-ups could be called Terminator: Genisyx and Terminator: Geniseptem, right?  While the titles of the sixth and seventh films may be up for debate, their release dates have now been established.  To further confuse things, even though the fifth film comes out in 2015, the next two in the series won’t debut until 2017 and 2018.  And they’re being referred to as Terminator 2 and Terminator 3.  Oy.  Hit the jump for more details.

Mark Wahlberg Talks TRANSFORMERS 4, Rupert Wyatt’s THE GAMBLER, Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 272 days ago


Just a short time ago in Las Vegas, I landed a great video interview with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet before Paramount’s presentation at CinemaCon.  During the interview Wahlberg talked about making Transformers: Age of Extinction, the action sequences, working for director Michael Bay on a big budget summer movie versus a smaller film like Pain & GainRupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, Peter Berg’s American DesperadoWilliam Monahan’s Mojave, and the New England Patriots (we’re both fans of the team).

The big news is that Wahlberg revealed American Desperados will be shooting this September and he has a small role in Monahan’s Mojave (which hadn’t been revealed until tonight).  For those unfamiliar with the story for American Desperado, it’s based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, who was the focus of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.  Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Brie Larson Talks SHORT TERM 12, Rupert Wyatt’s THE GAMBLER, Receiving the 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award, and More

by     Posted 317 days ago


Actress Brie Larson has garnered quite a bit of recognition for her role in the indie drama Short Term 12, as Grace, a supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility who is learning to cope with pain of her own.  It’s no surprise that she was honored for her performance with a Virtuosos Award at SBIFF, and Collider was there to cover and attend the event, compiling the highlights of what she had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.

While there, Brie Larson talked about what it’s been like to be a part of awards season, how she approached bringing this character to life, the music that got her into the needed headspace, that this was one of the best experiences she’s ever had, playing the duality of emotions, and the response she’s gotten from people who have had similar experiences to the characters.  She also talked about her unusual character in Don Jon, how she’s currently working on a remake of The Gambler, which she says isn’t really a remake, and what it’s been like to work with director Rupert Wyatt on that film.  Check out what she had to say after the jump. 

John Goodman Talks THE MONUMENTS MEN, Honoring the World War II Generation, THE GAMBLER, Looking Back on THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SPEED RACER, and More

by     Posted 320 days ago


John Goodman turns in a moving performance in The Monuments Men as Walter Garfield, a role inspired by real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock who was an acclaimed artist and St. Louis sculptor.  Goodman’s character is part of a motley crew of art historians and museum curators who rush to the front lines of WWII in a race against time to save priceless works of art from Nazi thieves.  Opening February 7th, the buddy action thriller directed by and starring George Clooney boasts an impressive cast that also includes Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balazar, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Goodman who spoke about what attracted him to the role, why he said yes to the project before reading the script and had the same reaction when the Coen Brothers offered him Inside Llewyn Davis, why honoring the generation that sacrificed so much to win the war was a big hook for him, how his acting process has changed over the years, his upcoming role in The Gambler and his reaction to William Monahan’s script, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, hosting SNL and his favorite sketch, the possibility of a Monsters University sequel, and looking back on making The Big Lebowski.  Check out the interview after the jump.

John Goodman Joins THE GAMBLER with Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson

by     Posted 347 days ago


After starring in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, John Goodman is set to join Paramount’s remake of The Gambler.  Rupert Wyatt is set to direct the picture which features Mark Wahlberg in the title role.  James Toback scripted the original 1974 version starring James Caan, and William Monahan penned a draft of the remake, which sees “a literature professor whose gambling addiction lands him in hot water with his girlfriend, his mother and some unsavory gangsters.”  Goodman stars as “a Jewish loan shark, to whom Wahlberg finds himself indebted.”  Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, Michael K. Williams and Travis Tope also star. (Via The Wrap)

Brie Larson in Talks to Star Opposite Mark Wahlberg in THE GAMBLER; Rupert Wyatt Confirmed to Direct

by     Posted 1 year, 65 days ago


Actress Brie Larson has been on the rise for a few years now, but her breakthrough role in this year’s highly regarded indie Short Term 12 finally gave her the chance to shine as a leading lady.  As a result, the actress has landed the female lead opposite Mark Wahlberg in Paramount’s remake of the 1974 James Caan film The Gambler, which has gone through a number of iterations over the years.  Oscar-winning The Departed scribe William Monahan penned the initial script for Martin Scorsese to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star, then The Hangover director Todd Phillips entered talks to take over when Scorsese left the project.  Hit the jump for more on the project, including who will now be taking the helm.

Mark Wahlberg and Rupert Wyatt Take a Chance on THE GAMBLER at Paramount; Wyatt Unofficially Endorsed by J.J. Abrams to Direct STAR TREK 3

by     Posted 1 year, 101 days ago


Paramount’s remake of Karel Reisz’s 1974 film The Gambler had previously courted director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio.  When Scorsese left, Todd Phillips (The Hangover) was in talks to direct.  Now, it looks as if Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) could be sitting in the captain’s chair while Mark Wahlberg (2 Guns) could land the role originally played by James Caan.  While no offer is officially on the table, the studio is keen to keep Wyatt involved, including the possibility of him helming Star Trek 3 even if The Gambler doesn’t work out.  Hit the jump for more.

Todd Phillips in Talks to Direct Crime Drama THE GAMBLER

by     Posted 2 years, 122 days ago


Though he’s currently gearing up to direct the comedy sequel The Hangover Part III in September, director Todd Phillips is planning on trying his hand at a straight drama in the near future.  THR reports that Phillips is in talks to direct the crime drama The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name starring James Caan.  The Paramount project previously had Martin Scorsese attached to direct with Leonardo DiCaprio circling the starring role, but it now appears that Scorsese has left the remake.  Hit the jump for more details.


by     Posted 3 years, 60 days ago


I’m writing to you this week in full “World Series Mode.” While there are plenty of things going on around the Midwest this time of year (homemade haunted houses are always a welcomed annual treat), a majority of my focus is on trying to will my beloved Cardinals to Fall Classic glory. Combine that with the fact that Batman: Arkham City is consistently calling my name and it’s a wonder that I’m even writing this right now. Hold on, what’s that, Arkham City? Okay, okay…I’ll be there in a second…

…In this week’s installment, you’ll find talk of Transformers 4 and Transformers 5 shooting back-to-back with Jason Statham potentially starring, a six-minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises being attached to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘s IMAX release, interviews with director Paul W.S. Anderson and the cast of The Three Musketeers, David Fincher and Rooney Mara talking about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and William Monahan discussing projects including London Boulevard, The Departed sequel, Sin City 2 and more. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.


by     Posted 3 years, 65 days ago

Almost a year ago, I ran an extended interview with William Monahan for his directorial debut London Boulevard.  Starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Anna Friel, Jamie Bower, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Eddie Marsan, and Ben Chaplin, the film is about a man just released from prison (Farrell) who falls in love with a reclusive young movie star (Knightley) and finds himself in a duel with a vicious gangster (Winstone).  At the time, the movie was about to hit theaters in the United Kingdom, and our wide-ranging conversation covered the making of the film and all the other projects he was involved with.  When I posted the interview, I said it was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with any filmmaker.

However, with London Boulevard now available on VOD in the United States and hitting theaters November 11, I recently sat down with Monahan again and we have bested our last conversation.  During our 45 minutes conversation we covered everything from his thoughts on VOD and what changes were made to the film, the digital revolution, the crime genre, writing dialogue, and working with actors.  In addition, he gave me updates on The Departed sequel/prequel, Sin City 2, The Gambler, Tripoli, Becket, Mojave (which might be his next film), and revealed there is another version of Kingdom of Heaven that no one has seen.  Hit the jump for more.

Exclusive: Screenwriter William Monahan Talks SIN CITY 2 and THE GAMBLER Remake

by     Posted 3 years, 68 days ago


One of the most popular Best Picture winners of the past decade was 2006’s The Departed. The film had it all: a legendary director in Martin Scorsese, a star-studded cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, and screenwriter William Monahan. The writer instantly became a household name and he won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Now, Monahan is hard at work on two highly anticipated projects: a remake of The Gambler and Sin City 2. A remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan, The Gambler reunites Monahan with his Departed director Scorsese and possibly DiCaprio too. The long-awaited Sin City sequel features the return of director Robert Rodriguez, bringing Frank Miller’s graphic novel to life once again.

A few days ago I got to speak with Monahan about his directorial debut London Boulevard (which is currently playing on VOD and opens in theaters November 11th). During the extended interview we talked about a wide variety of subjects and in the coming days you can expect the full interview.  However, as a tease, after the jump I’m offering updates on both The Gambler and Sin City 2, including what changes he’s making to The Gambler, how he views remakes, what approach he’s taking to adapting Frank Miller’s material on Sin City and more.

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