As Colin Firth's follow-up to his Oscar-winning The King's Speech role and a caper comedy written by the Coen Brothers, Gambit is sneakily becoming one of my more anticipated movies of the next year or so. A remake of the 60s comedy that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine as an unlikely pair of con artists, Gambit will co-star Cameron Diaz and will be directed by Michael Hoffman, who last made The Last Station. Now the thieving duo of Firth and Diaz have found their mark-- according to Coming Soon, Alan Rickman has signed on to play Lord Shahbandar, the "richest man in England" who is at the center of the planned con.

Additionally English actor Tom Courtenay, whose screen credits go all the way back to 1965's Doctor Zhivago, has signed on to play The Major, a role I can't quite place based on the information I can dig up about the original film. Regardless, the man has been knighted, and along with Rickman makes for a serious dose of talent in a movie that already included plenty of it. Diaz is the wild card here, of course, the American woman without nearly the solid track record of the rest of the cast, and a recent caper comedy behind her--that'd be Knight and Day-- that didn't work out so well. But with this summer's Bad Teacher actually looking really promising, I'm putting faith in Diaz's comedic chops and hoping she has what it takes to fill Shirley MacLaine's massive shoes. If nothing else, she'll have a lot of talent backing her up if she stumbles.

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