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. Williams. The Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Gambler:
Jim Bennett (Academy Award®-nominee Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Academy Award®-winner Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance…
Via USA Today.