Colin Farrell to Star in Macau Gambling Movie ‘The Ballad of a Small Player’

Irish star Colin Farrell is to star in a new Netflix movie, The Ballad of a Small Player. Based on the novel of the same name by British author Lawrence Osborne, the story follows an English con-artist’s gambling misadventures in the sleazier casinos of Macau.

Colin Farrell, above, will play a fake English aristocrat indifferently risking it all in Macau in the forthcoming Edward Berger movie. (Image: Getty)

The film will be directed by Edward Berger, who won an Oscar for his 2022 Netflix anti-war epic All Quiet on the Western Front.

Farrell will play Gerard Woodward, a high-rolling swindler who decamps to Macau to escape the clutches of the law back home. While there, he poses as the aristocrat “Lord Doyle,” although he is really the son of a vacuum cleaner salesman from an unfashionable part of South London.

Crash and Burn

In Macau, Woodward hits the baccarat tables and is prepared to gamble himself broke, ambivalent to whether he wins or loses. He made his fortune robbing wealthy old ladies, and now he is ready to shed some guilt in the form of casino chips.

The novel is suffused with Chinese superstitions around gambling, which Woodward pretends to disdain but to which he ultimately succumbs.

In a neon demi-monde of dimly lit hotel rooms and punto banco tables, he ghosts drunkenly across casino carpets of “sweet rancid sponginess.”

Indifferent to his fate, he crashes and burns, before an encounter with a kindred spirit, high-class call girl Dao-Ming, offers him some hope of salvation, as the story climaxes in a weird supernatural twist.

Stuck in Development

The Ballad of a Small Player was highly acclaimed on its 2014 publication, and film rights were quickly snapped up. But the movie has been stuck in development stage for the best part of a decade. Finally, shooting is scheduled to start this summer.

The screenwriter and director Rowan Joffe will adapt the novel into a screenplay, and the movie will be produced by UK company Good Chaos and Berger’s own Nine Hours.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but the official release describes the movie as “an imaginative tale of two strangers and the unbelievable journey that connects them.”

Fresh from his Oscar-nominated turn in The Banshees of Inisherin, Farrell will soon be seen in Batman spin-off The Penguin for Max, due out in the fall.

The post Colin Farrell to Star in Macau Gambling Movie ‘The Ballad of a Small Player’ appeared first on Casino.org.

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