The Movie Spew: Martin Scorsese Starts A Feud By Remaking The Gambler

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Martin Scorsese To Remake James Toback’s The Gambler and Toback Isn’t Too Pleased About It

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are planning another remake together with The Departed screenwriter William Monahan onboard.

Their plan is to remake the 1974 movie The Gambler, which starred James Caan as an English professor whose life slowly falls to pieces due to his gambling addiction. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable project for those two guys to make; the only problem is that nobody bothered to tell the writer/director of the original version of The Gambler James Toback, who based the story on his own life.

Understandably frustrated that the movie was set in motion without anyone even contacting him, Toback wrote a long email to Deadline today venting his frustration, complaining that when it comes to remakes “all anyone gives a f*ck about [is] whether something is legal.”

Toback is friends with Dicaprio and contemporaries with Scorsese, so he’s in complete disbelief that he had to find out about the movie through a blog. Unfortunately for Toback, there’s really nothing he can do. Paramount owns the rights to The Gambler and it’s theirs to remake as they please.

Hopefully he’ll at least be consulted about the film by his friends or at the very least Paramount will bother to finally release the original film on DVD. Rough times for Toback, perhaps he and Abel Ferrara (the director of the original Bad Lieutenant) should form a support group.

Another The Grudge Movie Is Coming Whether You Like It Or Not 


Remember when The Ring remake came out in '02 and suddenly Hollywood was obsessed with remaking Japanese horror movies until it became very clear, very quickly that audiences didn’t really care for that idea? Well, someone forgot to tell Ghost House Pictures and Sony because apparently work has begun on The Grudge 4, despite the fact that no one wants to see it.

The Grudge was a pretty great cult item back when it was an intensely creepy direct-to-video Japanese horror movie. Then that movie got remade as an even better theatrical Japanese film. Then that movie got an unnecessary sequel, then it got remade in Hollywood, and then two American sequels and a Nintendo Wii game followed.

This many entries into the franchise, there’s really nothing left to be done with the admittedly creepy collection of child ghosts that connect the series. The Grudge 4 is the absolute epitome of an unnecessary sequel. God willing, it’ll never actually see the light of day.

Flatliners To Be Remade Even Though No One Liked It The First Time


Remember Flatliners? It was that dumb movie from the 1990 about Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts leading a group of medical students who decide to flirt with near death experiences by stopping their hearts before reviving each other at the last moment. For some reason this leads to them all having nightmare visions from their pasts explained by a load of hokum that could only be dreamed up by Batman And Robin director Joel Schumacher.

It was a crappy movie that’s only vaguely remembered now because it fills late night slots on basic cable. Yet, for some reason Hollywood has deemed it worthy of a remake to be written by Source Code scribbler Ben Ripley. Personally, I feel like bad movies should be remade over good ones because at least you have a chance to fix the mistakes of the past rather than ruining a beloved title.

However, Flatliners is so idiotic I don’t even think that a talented sci-fi screenwriter like Ripley could turn it into anything even remotely watchable. Let’s hope this remake never makes it out of development hell.

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Phil Brown was born years ago. He then grew up, went to university, and now reviews movies, interviews people and writes comedy. He writes for a number of websites and publications including the one you are currently reading. Phil can be found haunting movie theatres around Toronto. He isn't dangerous,…

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