Awkwafina is set to play the world’s greatest female gambler in The Baccarat Machine.
The Crazy Rich Asians actress, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, will portray Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, the most successful female gambler in modern history.
Based on Michael Kaplan’s article The Baccarat Machine, which was published in Cigar Aficionado magazine, the film will follow young Chinese woman Sun as she painstakingly develops talent and an obsession for payback.
With major casinos conspiring to bar her from their properties, Sun partners with the international “King of Poker” Phil Ivey in order to take down the system through subterfuge, ingenuity, and pure daring, resulting in one of the most ingenious legal gambling runs ever documented.
John Penotti and Charlie Corwin from SK Global, which is financing and producing the project, made the announcement on Wednesday. They also revealed Andy Bellin will be writing the script and Jeffrey Sharp will be producing. They are still in talks with potential directors and additional actors.
“We can’t think of a better way to start this project than by announcing that our friend Awkwafina has come on board,” Penotti said in a statement, according to Deadline and Variety. “She is uniquely equipped to bring Kelly to life onscreen and will infuse the role with genuine humour and humanity. Along with our partners at Sharp, we’re thrilled to bring this unbelievable story to the screen.”
SK Global previously worked with Awkwafina on Crazy Rich Asians, one of her breakout roles in 2018, along with Ocean’s 8. The actress, real name Nora Lum, was recently seen in Jumanji: The Next Level and is starring in new TV comedy series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which she co-created.
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