Entertainment

Russell Crowe to direct star-studded thriller Poker Face

Russell Crowe to direct star-studded thriller Poker Face – which will film in Sydney under strict COVID-safe guidelines

Russell Crowe has been upgraded to director of the upcoming psychological thriller Poker Face.

He was previously just an actor in the project, but will now take over from Gary Fleder as director according to Variety.

It’s believed that the change is due to Australia’s coronavirus restrictions, which would make it difficult for American Fleder to arrive Down Under.

Promotion! Russell Crowe has been upgraded to director of the upcoming psychological thriller Poker Face

Poker Face will now film on location in Sydney’s Fox Studios under strict Covid-safe guidelines.  

Crowe, who is close friends with Chris Hemsworth, has kept his casting choices close to home, adding Chris’ wife Elsa Pataky and his younger brother Liam Hemsworth to the film’s cast. 

According to Confidential, ‘both the youngest Hemsworth and Pataky have quietly been added to the cast of the flick with Crowe.’  

Pals: Crowe reportedly added Liam Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky to the cast of the thriller

Pals: Crowe reportedly added Liam Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky to the cast of the thriller

Crowe has already has picked out several iconic locations for the film’s set pieces, according to the Daily Telegraph.

At the time, the publication reported that one of the movie’s sequences will feature a high speed car chase inside the Harbour Tunnel.  

Also being showcased in the film will be the $140 million penthouse atop James Packer’s Crown Residences and ‘a sprawling Point Piper mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour’.

Cast: According to Confidential, 'both the youngest Hemsworth and Pataky have quietly been added to the cast of the flick with Crowe.' Liam Hemsworth is pictured

Cast: According to Confidential, ‘both the youngest Hemsworth and Pataky have quietly been added to the cast of the flick with Crowe.’ Liam Hemsworth is pictured 

The rest of the film will likely be shot at Moore Park’s Fox Studios.

While the movie was originally set in Miami, Florida, Crowe has reportedly demanded the film be filmed and set in Sydney. 

The New Zealand born star wants ‘to show people just how stunning and world-class Sydney is,’ according to the newspaper’s sources.  

Glorious: Among the locations being showcased in the film will be the $140 million penthouse atop James Packer's Crown Residences (left)

Glorious: Among the locations being showcased in the film will be the $140 million penthouse atop James Packer’s Crown Residences (left)

Set piece: One of the movie's sequences will feature a high speed car chase inside the Harbour Tunnel (pictured)

Set piece: One of the movie’s sequences will feature a high speed car chase inside the Harbour Tunnel (pictured)

Point Piper: 'A sprawling Point Piper mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour' will also feature

Point Piper: ‘A sprawling Point Piper mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour’ will also feature

According to Deadline, Poker Face tells the tale of a tech billionaire called Jake (played by Russell) who gathers his childhood friends to his estate for what turns into a high stakes game of poker.  

‘Those friends have a love hate relationship with the host, a master game-player/planner, and he has concocted an elaborate scheme designed to bring a certain justice to all of them,’ Deadline reports.  

‘However, Jake finds himself re-thinking his strategy when his mansion is overtaken by a dangerous home invader whose previous jobs have all ended in murder and arson.’

Big names: Joining Crowe in the cast will be Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA, while his fellow Oscar winner Natalie Portman (pictured in 2019) is 'circling a role'

Big names: Joining Crowe in the cast will be Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA, while his fellow Oscar winner Natalie Portman (pictured in 2019) is ‘circling a role’

Joining Crowe in the cast will be Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA, while his fellow Oscar winner Natalie Portman is ‘circling a role’. 

Russell recently worked with Portman while filming a small part in her film Thor: Love and Thunder. 

Poker Face will mark the first time Crowe has stepped behind the camera since his 2014 directorial debut The Water Diviner. 

A galaxy of stars: Natalie is pictured here with Russell and her husband Benjamin Millepied (second from right) at a South Sydney Rabbitohs game back in March. Russell recently worked with Portman while filming a small part in her film Thor: Love and Thunder

A galaxy of stars: Natalie is pictured here with Russell and her husband Benjamin Millepied (second from right) at a South Sydney Rabbitohs game back in March. Russell recently worked with Portman while filming a small part in her film Thor: Love and Thunder

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