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Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth Thriller ‘Poker Face’ Sells to Screen Media

VARIETY – Screen Media, a division of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has acquired North American rights to “Poker Face,” a thriller starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth.

Crowe also directed the film, which is scheduled to release in theaters on Nov. 16. It’ll land on digital platforms on Nov. 22.

Set in the world of high-stakes betting, “Poker Face” stars Crowe as tech billionaire and gambler Jake Foley, who offers his best friends a chance to win more money than they’ve ever dreamed of. But to play, they’ll have to give up the one thing they spend their lives trying to keep…their secrets. As the game unfolds, the long-time pals will discover what is really at stake.

Along with Crowe and Hemsworth, the cast includes RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame and “Fast and Furious” star Elsa Pataky. Stephen M. Coates wrote the screenplay with Crowe.

Arclight Films handled worldwide rights for the film.

“It’s exciting to have the top-notch team at Screen Media come on board to distribute ‘Poker Face’ and introduce this incredible movie to audiences in the U.S. Russell has created a phenomenal film and is joined on screen by a brilliant ensemble cast – we are so proud to be part of this project,” said Arclight Films chairman Gary Hamilton.

David Fannon, chief acquisitions and distribution officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, adds, “We’re thrilled to be working with Russell and the Arclight team on this thrill-ride of a movie. We’ve been big fans of the story since we first read it years ago, and Russell has crafted that into the entertaining adventure that we know audiences will love experiencing soon.”

“Poker Face” is produced by Hamilton and Keith Rodger of Fear of God Films, along with Arclight Films’ Ying Ye and Ryan Hamilton. Additional producers include Addam Bramich, Matt Williams and Catchlight Studios’ Jeanette Volturno and Jason Clark.

Arclight Films’ Brian Beckmann, Screen Media’s Seth Needle and Conor McAdam, David Nagleberg, Walter Josten, Joe Thomas, Mikael Borglund, Romilda De Luca, MEP Capital’s Elizabeth Zavoyskiy and Andrew Kotliar, Jay Douglas and Alceon Entertainment Partners are executive producing, alongside Julia Stuart and Laura Grange from Sky.

“Poker Face” marks Crowe’s second directorial effort following 2014’s “The Water Diviner.” The Australian actor, an Oscar winner for “Gladiator” and nominee for “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Insider,” recently appeared as Zeus Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Up next, Crowe is starring in Peter Farrelly’s war drama “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” and Sony’s comic book adaptation “Kraven the Hunter.” He’s currently shooting “The Pope’s Exorcist,” a supernatural thriller directed by Julius Avery.

Russell Crowe casts his pals Elsa Pataky and Liam Hemsworth in his upcoming high-octane thriller ‘Poker Face’

Russell Crowe casts his pals Elsa Pataky and Liam Hemsworth in his upcoming high-octane thriller ‘Poker Face’

Russell Crowe is currently working on his upcoming psychological thriller, Poker Face.

The 57-year-old actor, 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 Saturday’s Confidential, ‘both the youngest Hemsworth and Pataky have quietly been added to the cast of the flick with Crowe.’

Oscar-winning actor, Russell, who will direct as well as star in the film, 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’.

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.

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.’

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