For around 15 years so far, writer and director Todd Phillips has focused solely on the comedy genre and with it has delivered some major hits such as Road Trip, Old School, and perhaps most notably the trilogy of The Hangover. With the trio of films set to sober up after a final conclusion next summer, it’s unclear exactly where Phillips had planned to go. His last standalone effort Due Date did admirable at the box office, but it seems after many years Phillips wants to find a change of pace. Now, the creative mind is venturing into a new territory as he’s ready to stop the laughs and hopefully deliver quite the tale.
THR reports that Phillips has entered talks to direct the crime drama The Gambler, based off of the 1974 film of the same featuring James Caan. Martin Scorsese was once attached to helm the film, while The Departed screenwriter William Monahan penned the script.
The story “centers on a UCLA literature professor with a gambling problem who runs afoul of gangsters”. Producer of the original Irwin Winkler is back in the same capacity for the remake.
If successful, Philips would work on The Gambler following The Hangover: Part III, which is set to kick off filming next month in both Las Vegas and Tijuana. The comedy sequel already has a release date set for May 24th, 2013. This would mean that Phillips would likely get to the film sometime next year for a 2014 release.
This really shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise seeing how Phillips has had bouts of dark dramatic tension in his more recent comedy outings compared to earlier features such asRoad Trip or Old School. With his cinematic style also seeing a bit of a change in the past few years, perhaps it’s that blend that has Phillips truly gunning for a dramatic approach that could further his career into new ventures.