Russell Crowe has a reputation for being a man who likes to keep himself busy. He stars in horror movie The Georgetown Project, which is scheduled for release this year and has just completed filming for the latest Marvel adventure, Thor: Love and Thunder, in which he plays Zeus. He’s rumored to be involved in forthcoming projects involving everything from the Vietnam War to Mark Rothko. But that’s not prevented him from also signing up to star in a psychological thriller that will be directed by Gary Fleder and filmed in Crowe’s adopted home of Australia.
The new poker age
The plot the new film, Poker Face, revolves around a man who invites a group of old friends to his luxury home to reconnect over some high stakes poker. However, in a manner that sounds similar to last year’s surprise Netflix success, The Invitation, the reunion is not all it seems. There are old tensions that lie unresolved and wounds that are quick to reopen.
Poker is a theme that is guaranteed to attract attention at the moment, especially among US audiences, so the project is ideally timed. A wave of legislative reform is sweeping across the states in relation to gambling activities, making poker and similar casino-style games a hot topic. Pennsylvania online poker has been legal for some time and this is the state with which Crowe has formed the strongest – if not always the happiest – connection over the years.
Sources in Australia suggest that Natalie Portman will be joining Crowe for the project, having also co-starred with him in the recent Marvel project. Other cast members have yet to be announced, but it has been confirmed that the movie will be produced by Addam Bramich and Gary Hamilton. Although the action is set in Miami beach, filming will take place along the east coast of New South Wales.
Crowe has been recognized numerous times at the awards. He’s had three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor over the years, including winning in 2001 for his role in Gladiator. The nominations came in 2000 and 2002 for The Insider and A Beautiful Mind, respectively. The latter earned him his one and only BAFTA to date, as well as a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture.
Crowe’s other awards over the years include 10 nominations and four wins at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, the most recent of which was in 2009, when he picked up the Best International Lead Actor award for his role in State of Play.
For a man who is such a household name, it’s impossible not to notice that the gongs have been thin on the ground over the past decade, but all that could change if Poker Face lives up to its promise. Crowe suffered some personal tragedy with the loss of his father earlier this year, and there can be little doubt that he’d love the opportunity to raise an award in his memory.
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