By Jack Rico
CANNES (May 15, 2011) – Principal photography began on GAMBIT, starring Academy Award© winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Cameron Diaz (The Green Hornet, There’s Something About Mary), Golden Globe and BAFTA award winner Alan Rickman (Harry Potter Series, Alice In Wonderland) and BAFTA award winner Sir Tom Courtenay (The Golden Compass) in London on May 5th. In addition, Golden Globe winner Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia) and Academy Award© winner and veteran comedic actress Cloris Leachman have joined the cast.
The film is directed by Michael Hoffman (The Last Station) and based on a screenplay written by Academy Award© winners Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit, No Country for Old Men). Mike Lobell (The Freshman, Honeymoon in Vegas) is producing, alongside Crime Scene Pictures partners Adam Ripp and Rob Paris, who are also financing. Crime Scene Pictures is having an impressive inaugural year. Rizal Risjad and Philip Elway are executive producers.
Shooting in London and in New Mexico, the story centers on British art curator Harry Deane (Firth) who devises a finely-crafted scheme to con England’s richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar, (Rickman) into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen (Diaz) to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII.
The behind-the-scenes talent is equally stellar. Florian Ballhaus (Red, The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Devil Wears Prada) will serve as Director of Photography. Academy Award© winner Jenny Beavan (The King’s Speech, A Room with a View) will be the Costume Designer. Joining her are Hair and Makeup Chief Christine Blundell, Academy Award© winner for Topsy Turvey, and Production Designer Stuart Craig, a three-time Academy Award© winner (Gandhi, Dangerous Liaisons, The English Patient), who has multiple nominations for his work on the Harry Potter series.
FilmNation Entertainment is handling distribution outside of the United States, with CBS Films distributing in the United States. Alliance Films will be distributing the film in Canada, Momentum Pictures in the UK and Aurum Productions in Spain.