DiCaprio and Scorsese remaking The Gambler; original screenwriter saddened by “disrespect”

The creative team behind 2006’s Best Picture winner The Departednamely director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter William Monahan and star Leonardo DiCaprio – are set to reunite for a remake of the 1974 drama The Gambler, Deadline reports.

No doubt studio Paramount is hoping to replicate the success of the trio’s previous re-imagining (The Departed was based on the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs).

The Gambler was originally written as an autobiographical piece by James Toback, and starred James Caan as a New York academic whose gambling addiction consumes his life.

Toback emailed Deadline to express his disappointment over not being asked by Paramount, or any of their creative partners, if it would be OK to retool such a personal project. Weirdly, Toback also reveals he is currently living with Brett Ratner. An excerpt of his exchange with Ratner below:

“[Deadline] just reported that DiCaprio and Scorcese are remaking The Gambler at Paramount.”
“Not my Gambler!” I said. “That’s not possible! No one said a word to me!”
“Who owns it?” Ratner asked.
“I guess they didn’t have to.”
“Legally, I guess you’re right,” I said.
“Maybe that’s all anyone gives a f*** about: whether something is legal.”

Toback also offers a comprehensive summary of The Gambler‘s origins, and concludes by reiterating the “rudeness” and “disrespect” shown by Paramount. Read the rest of the article here.

Discuss: Should they have dropped Toback a line?

One Response to “DiCaprio and Scorsese remaking The Gambler; original screenwriter saddened by “disrespect””

  1. In one way no, considering he technically gave away his rights to the story to the studio but in another way considering it is autobiographical ethically I think asking him would have been nice.

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