Todd Phillips in Talks to Direct First Drama 'The Gambler' (Exclusive)

Todd Phillips Headshot - P 2012
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Todd Phillips Headshot - P 2012

The Paramount project could be the helmer's next film after "Hangover Part III."

Todd Phillips is getting serious about Paramount’s remake of The Gambler.

The Hangover helmer, who has worked entirely in the comedy genre since hanging up his documentarian hat in the ’90s, is in talks to direct the crime drama based on the studio’s 1974 film starring James Caan.

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The project once had Martin Scorsese attached to helm. Scorsese’s The Departed scribe William Monahan wrote the screenplay, which centers on a UCLA literature professor with a gambling problem who runs afoul of gangsters.

Irwin Winkler, who produced the original, is back in the same role for the remake.

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Phillips' move into drama might not be a surprise for those who have followed his career. While known as a director of broad comedies, his films -- such as Old School, Due Date and even the Hangover franchise -- often are infused with darker undertones. He also is known for delivering films with a stronger visual aesthetic than is typical for comedies.   

But Phillips isn’t done with laughs just yet. The plan is for the helmer and Project X producer to direct The Hangover Part III beginning in September before seguing to The Gambler.

Phillips is repped by CAA and Sloane Offer.