A couple weeks ago, we reported that rising star Rebecca Hall (The Town) would lead Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Beth Raymor’s Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling. Hall will play Raymor, who chronicled her years working in the world of Vegas sports gambling. Today, Vulture reports that Bruce Willis has signed on to play Raymor’s mentor/boss Dink Heimowitz in the flick, which is now titled Lay the Favorite, Take the Dog. In the synopsis of the book, “Dinky” is described as “lovable, irascible, and big-bellied.” I’m not sure Willis is willing to pack on the pounds, but he’s got “irascible” down to a science.
Fox was apparently unimpressed with the latest draft of the Die Hard 5 script from screenwriter Skip Woods (who is credited with such classics as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Hitman) and is headed “back to the drawing board.” Willis is taking an active role in the film’s development and is now interviewing directors to take the helm and oversee the project. According to Vulture, the Willis’ top choice is Daniel Espinosa, who helmed the hit Swedish crime flick Snabba Cash and is currently directing the action-thriller Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Hopefully, the drawing board Willis and Fox are going back to says the following: DIE HARD MOVIES SHOULD BE RATED R.
Back to Lay the Favorite, here’s the synopsis 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. [Amazon]