Russell Crowe Films Poker Face Movie In Sydney

Filmmakers have been portraying poker in films for decades upon decades. In most people’s opinions, nothing has come close to the representation of poker in Rounders, the 1998 film which starred Matt Damon and Edward Norton. Everything revolved around a dream of playing in the World Series of Poker, and it touched on everything from underground poker games to bankroll management, to friendships and staking, and from success to failure. The poker was represented accurately, and it even featured WSOP scenes with Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel.

Russell Crowe’s latest film doesn’t seem to be attempting to be another Rounders. In fact, it appears to be a thriller that starts with a high-stakes poker game. And the name of the film is Poker Face.

Movie Detail Emerge

Deadline broke the story in mid-May of this year. Russell Crowe would be the primary actor in a new movie called Poker Face.

Gary Fleder is directing the film. His career of directing, writing, and producing dates back nearly three decades. His long list of accomplishments includes television series like The Shield and films like Runaway Jury, a 2003 thriller based on a novel by John Grisham. Fleder is no stranger to bringing thriller stories to the big screen.

Stephen Coates scripted the movie. Brian Beckmann, Kanesh Mohana Sundaram, and Jomon Thomas are listed as the executive producers.

Arclight Films is financing and producing it.

High-Stakes Thriller

The star of Poker Face is Russell Crowe, the longtime actor who was born in New Zealand but lived much of his life in Australia. Crowe may be best known for starring (and Oscar winning) role in the 2000 film Gladiator, but he also played starring roles in everything from A Beautiful Mind to L.A. Confidential, and from American Gangster to Robin Hood.

In Poker Face, Crowe plays a tech billionaire named Jake. The supposed setting is Jake’s mansion in Miami, Florida. He organizes a get-together for some childhood friends that turns into a game of high-stakes poker.

In reality, the challenging relationships between them all prompted Jake to design an elaborate plan to exact justice on each of them. However, his plan needs to be readjusted when a home invader takes over the house. That criminal had done home invasions before, all of which ended in either murder or arson.

Elsa Pataky will play one of the major roles. She is an actress from Spain and married to Chris Hemsworth. Coincidentally, Liam Hemsworth is another of the main stars in the film. RZA, longtime rapper and actor, will act alongside Crowe, as he has done previously.

Filming During a Pandemic

Per Variety, Crowe arranged to change the setting of the film from Miami to Sydney, Australia. Not only would the crew work out of the Fox Studios set in Sydney, Crowe was intent upon bringing an economic boost and publicity to the city. He worked with the producers and director to include some Sydney landmarks in the film, as well as a car chase that races through the city’s streets.

And despite fresh Covid-related lockdowns in Sydney, Crowe pushed for filming to move forward. The cast and crew implemented strict guidelines in coordination with health officials. While parts of New South Wales have been and are in lockdown, the film has been able to continue shooting scenes in Kiama.

While some question Crowe’s influence to go against the strict lockdown, others point to his care to bring business and notoriety to Sydney with this film. Further, he is in the process of building a film studio in NSW, one that is costing approximately $400M and will include four sound stages and post-production facilities.

Other actors like Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman have recently made similar moves. They’ve encouraged filming on their projects to locate to Sydney as well.

Possible 2022 Release

It appears that Poker Face is scheduled for a 2022 release, though no official timetable is available yet. It remains unclear if the pandemic lockdowns will shed any delays on any aspects of the filming process.

For now, the only Poker Face that most people know is the name of Lady Gaga’s massive hit from her 2008 debut album. It really has nothing to do with the actual game of poker, but it’s still a popular song.




Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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