Russell Crowe to Play Billionaire Schemer in Psychological Thriller ‘Poker Face’

3 min read

Hollywood A-lister Russell Crowe will be showing off his poker face in a movie of the same name. The Australian actor will play a tech billionaire who uses his mastery of games to exact revenge on some childhood friends.

Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is set to star in a new movie called Poker Face in which he plays a billionaire intent on getting revenge via a high-stakes game. (Image: Flickr/Eva Rinaldi)

Australia’s Sunday Telegraph and Deadline broke the news late last week. Crowe has officially put his name to the project, which is due to commence filming next month. Gary Felder will direct the thriller and, although unconfirmed at this stage, Natalie Portman has been tipped as the frontrunner to join Crowe in the spotlight.

Billionaire shows his poker face

Poker Face focuses on Jake, a man who made his fortune in the tech industry. With money and power on his side, he decides to invite a group of former friends to his mansion for a game of poker. Being a master of strategy and manipulation, Jake plans to use the game as a way of getting back at those who have wronged him.

Everything is going to plan until a home invader throws things into chaos. A series of terrifying and potentially deadly scenarios follow as everyone in the mansion is forced to fight for their life.

It seems as though poker is as much a metaphor as a motif in this movie. Jake, as played by Crowe, is a cerebral guy who created a high-stakes home game as a ruse to get back at people. However, when the bluff goes wrong, he’s forced to change his tactics. Anyone who’s played poker will have come up against this, albeit in a context where life and death aren’t the main concerns.

Crowe adds star power to psychological thriller

As poker movies go, Poker Face takes inspiration from the game’s psychological side, rather than its betting systems. Indeed, we’re probably not going to see much of Crowe learning how to check-raise bluff on the river.

This means it will be much more akin to onscreen offerings like Molly’s Game as opposed to Rounders (see video below).

Still, even though it’s probably not going to be a hardcore poker movie, exposure of any kind can be positive. If Poker Face gives movie-goers an insight into the game, it could inspire more people to play. If not, it will at least be another example of poker finding its way into the mainstream.

Filming will start in Crowe’s native Australia in the coming weeks. As yet, there is no release date for Poker Face.

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