Upcoming Flix Spotlight: The Coen Brothers’ Gambit remake

I haven’t visited impawards site in a while but I’m glad I did so today. How have I not heard of this film before?? I mean, hello Col. Brandon and Mr. Darcy… I mean, these are two of my all time favorite period drama heroes!! 😉

The gist:

So what’s Gambit about? Now, you comic-book fans out there might think of the X-Men character, but no, it has nothing to do with that. Here’s the synopsis from Orange.com:

Private art curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) devises a finely-crafted scheme to con England’s richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar, (Alan Rickman) into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen (Cameron Diaz) to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII.

It’s described as a crime-comedy. Now, another thing that piqued my interest is that the screenplay is written by the Coen Brothers, who specializes in this kind of genre. But this time they’re not directing the movie, instead, it’ll be Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, The Last Station) doing the directing duties. The story is a remake of the 1966 movie of the same name with Michael Caine as Harry. I don’t know how many remakes the Coens have done in the past, I think The Ladykillers and True Grit were remakes, but I’ve only seen the latter and that was one of my top 5 movies of 2010.

The Cast:

See my first paragraph. Obviously the two male leads Alan Rickman and Colin Firth sold me already on this movie. But add the always excellent Stanley Tucci and this automatically becomes a run-don’t-walk-to-the-theater kinds of flicks. But Cameron Diaz?? Heh, can’t say I’m enthused about her casting… but I’ve got to admit, she’s got good comedic skills, case in point: Something About Mary, and I totally could see her as a Texas rodeo queen. Besides, it could be worse… Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of PJ Puznowski.

Looks like the pics above are snapped at Heathrow Airport. Boy, even at 40 Diaz’s still rockin’ those daisy dukes! I like the fact that the movie is filmed on location in London. No Rickman in sight though, but no matter, I just have a good feeling about this one. With the Coens’ script, this seems poised to be quite an entertaining caper comedy.

Now the bad news… for us in America anyway…

Release dates:

According to Cinemablend, Gambit has been pushed back by CBS Films from October 12th of this year to a mysterious time in “Winter 2013.” Not sure why that is, but apparently the studio is placing Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths in its slot. Looks like my UK friends are the lucky ones as they still get to see it this year on November 21.

Added 9/20:

The trailer is now here!

Man, now I’m even more excited to see this!

Thoughts on this movie folks? Are you going to see this one?

46 thoughts on “Upcoming Flix Spotlight: The Coen Brothers’ Gambit remake

  1. Well, this is my first time hearing of this. The Coen’s being behind it is a definite plus,but nothing else here really makes it a must-see for me. Will probably see it when its on dvd

    Also, i never though i would be defining Aniston, but after watching the Good Girl i think with the right material she can actually give a good performance

  2. Completely forgot about this film, but it looks interesting. Since the Coens wrote it, I definitely want to see it, and the cast looks like they will play well off each other. I hope the studio settles on a decent US release date soon though.

    1. Yeah I hope so too, Josh. I can’t believe they’re delaying it for over a year! I mean with this cast and the Coens, what could possibly be wrong with it??

  3. I saw the posters earlier today too. It doesn’t strike me as a must-see just yet, but perhaps that will change. Diaz is part to blame for that.

    Not sure if Aniston didn’t get the part because of scheduling, but she is filming a new movie with Jason Sudekis in my neck of the woods for a lil while entitled “We’re the Millers.” Not certain I’m interested in that one any more. LOL.

    1. Hi T! Well it’s a must-see for me because of those two leads, y’know I LOVE the Brits. Add Stanley Tucci and that seals the deal even more 🙂 Well whatever it is Aniston is doing, I’m not interested, can’t believe she’d rather do a movie w/ Jason Sudekis than these two! Says a lot about her as an actress I think.

  4. Ted S.

    I’ve never heard of this movie until now, I do like the cast and of course you know I’m a big fan of The Coen Brothers. But I’ll probably rent it.

  5. keith7198

    As a big Coens fan I had heard of their involvement in this project but it seemed to have fallen off my radar. I guess I can now see why. Winter 2013 = bummer!

  6. While at my local theater a couple weeks ago seeing “Ruby Sparks” they had in there pre-show slideshow just one picture for this film. Seeing Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz sparked my interest, the friend I saw “Ruby Sparks” with told me right there that is was a remake. When I looked it up it sparked my interest more seeing the rest of the cast and the premise. I would like to see the original before seeing this since I obviously have the time to with no official release date for the states. I am very interested in seeing this version as well, but I would like to see the trailer before spending the money to see it, I’ve lost too much money on bad movies this year.

    1. Hi Amanda, that’s cool how you found out about this. Yeah the cast and premise sounds good right? Oh yeah, I’d have to see the trailer first before deciding if it’s worth seeing on the big screen. So what do you think of Ruby Sparks btw?

  7. Aidy

    Anything by the Cohen Brothers produce always prove to be interesting. Seeing Firth and Rickman together in the same film is certainly a win. I am more concerned, however, about Diaz role. I really hope that she isn’t type-cast as she has been in almost all her films as ditsy. Lovely write up as always!

    1. Hi Aidy! Yeah, the Firth + Rickman combo is what I really want to see. As for Diaz, well the first choice was Aniston so I think that should give us an idea what kind of role this PJ is, I hope she won’t be too much of a ditz!

  8. I saw some pics of Rickman on the set of this on one of the thousands of tumblrs dedicated to him I follow 🙂 The film looks good, though I wish Diaz wasn’t in it. Also she has nice figure but she really didn’t age well.

    1. I haven’t been on my Tumblr for ages. I think I followed some of Rickman ones. Yeah I don’t like Diaz either, but she does have nice legs. I think her face ages faster than her body, ahah.

  9. I’m not totally on board, given the goofy premise and Diaz’s involvement but I will keep my mind open, due to Rickman’s and Firth’s participation in a comedy. And Diaz only looked great in The Mask… That was like 15 years ago lol

    1. Yeah, Diaz definitely gets much less interesting over the years. The Mask was perhaps one of her most memorable roles, but I think she was funny in Something About Mary and even that rom-com My Best Friend’s Wedding.

  10. Thanks for the update Ruth. I’d heard that the coen’s were writing the screenplay but wasn’t aware of the cast or director. It’s also a little bonus that it’s out this year. Well… for some 😉

    1. Ahah yeah, good for you. I guess it’s only fair that some movies open elsewhere first, I just wish they could all have the same release dates around the world!

    1. Yep, both Rickman + Firth are way above Diaz’s league but I suppose the role suits her.

      Yeah I heard about the My Fair Lady remake but it seems to be on and off, I think Keira was supposed to play Eliza, but glad it’s now Carey who’s a much better actress.

  11. This looks interesting if only for the Rickman/Firth combo 🙂
    Film release scheduling is a tricky business. I was just thinking about this with respect to another film we were discussing the other day.
    Winter 2013 does not seem like a good placement in the States at least from the perspective of box office expectations.

  12. This could be an interesting one. I really enjoyed the original (I watched it about a year and a half ago) with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. I wonder how this will hold up in the comparison (which is probably not a factor for most of the audience, but for people who have seen the original it’s inevitable, especially as Firth rather looks like Caine in that poster.)

    The Coen brothers are pretty good in general (though The Ladykillers was awful). If they were directing, I’d be pretty confident in this; just writing, though, I’m not as sure, but I’m still guardedly optimistic. I think Diaz will probably do all right; if the role is similar to MacLaine’s role in the original, it doesn’t require her to have a huge range as an actress.

    1. Hi Morgan. Oh you’ve seen the original? I might rent it, after all I like Michael Caine. Yep, I think Firth should hold his own in Caine’s role.

      Glad to hear that Diaz’s role doesn’t require too much ‘acting.’ She should do well then 🙂

  13. Great cast…especially Firth and Rickman. This should be fun but recent crime capers from the Coens – Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers – have been weaker than other efforts in the last few years.

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