If Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest directors of all time, was planning on remaking a film that you wrote (and one that was loosely based on your life), you'd have to be pretty pleased, right? Well, not if you are James Toback.
Toback is the man behind the 1974 film 'The Gambler,' starring James Caan (who was nominated for his role as Axel Freed) and Paul Sorvino. So why is Toback upset that Scorsese, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, will be remaking his classic? Well, because they never gave poor James a heads up that it was being done.
Toback recently took to Deadline to voice his complaints about the whole situation. The letter he wrote is pretty fascinating, and if you are a fan of the film, it's worth reading in its entirety. However, the stuff regarding his displeasure with the remake is below.
It might seem odd that my initial response to the news of the purported remake would be something south of "flattered and honored," but the truth is that my main feeling was one of disbelief that I was learning of these plans at the same time and in the same fashion as any of the regular devoted readers of this column. It struck me as particularly odd since I have been a friend and unlimited admirer of Leonardo [DiCaprio]'s since our initial encounter in 1994 when we were, in fact, all set to close a deal on his playing the lead in 'Harvard Man' ... Equally odd was not hearing anything from Irwin Winkler who, I was soon to learn, is to be the producer on this projected new version as he was on the original.