Alan Rickman, best known as the ambiguously evil Professor Snape in the “Harry Potter” series, and Brit acting legend Sir Tom Courtenay are joining the cast of “Gambit,” Crime Scene Pictures’ upcoming remake of the 1966 British heist comedy which starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine.
“Gambit” has already set Colin Firth (hot off his recent Oscar win for “The King”s Speech”) and Cameron Diaz (“Green Hornet,” the upcoming “Bad Teacher”).
“Gambit” tells the tale of a British art curator (Firth) who teams with an attractive American rodeo rider (Diaz) to con England’s richest man.
Rickman will portray Lord Shahbandar and Courtenay will tackle the role of The Major.
Michael Hoffman (“The Last Station”) is directing the remake from a script by Joel and Ethan Coen (“The Big Lebowski,” “No Country for Old Men”). The Coen Brothers have added their unique voice to previous remakes such as “The Ladykillers” (2004), with Tom Hanks, and last year’s “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges.
Rickman will be seen in this summer’s final chapter of the boy wizard saga, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.” He recently appeared in “Sweeney Todd” and “Love, Actually.” Before becoming Professor Snape, Rickman is fondly remembered for his villainous role in the original “Die Hard” (1988).
In the 1960s, Courteney appeared in such classic films as “Doctor Zhivago,” “Billy Liar” and “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner,” and then turned primarily to the theater. Onscreen, however, he recently appeared in “The Golden Compass.”
“Gambit” is being produced by Mike Lobell and Crime Scene Pictures partners Adam Ripp and Rob Paris.
“We are thrilled to have added two world class actors to our already formidable cast,” Ripp and Paris said in the press release. “Alan and Sir Tom are the perfect additions to this classic comedic heist.”
“Gambit” will begin shooting in London this May.