Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Biopic Attracts Strong Interest from A-List Director

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 Author:Adrian Sterne

Doyle BrunsonSummary:

  • Proposed Doyle Brunson’s biopic is gaining positive momentum
  • The project could hit the big screen after attracting strong interest from a prominent director
  • Brunson was initially involved in the project which was first announced in May 2022

A biopic on poker legend Doyle Brunson is currently in the works and may soon hit the screens.

The project’s writer and producer, former poker pro Justin Smith, recently revealed that Brunson’s story has attracted strong interest from a prominent director.

That should come as no surprise given Brunson’s status in the world of poker. The 10-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer dedicated 50 years of his life to playing the game and helping it grow to what it is now.

How it Started

Doyle Brunson’s biopic was first announced in May 2022 when Radar Pictures secured the poker legend’s life story rights, this would be separate to one which was announced in 2021 from the team behind “The Last Dance”. During that time, it was also revealed that Smith would write and produce the story, covering Brunson’s 50-year career as a professional poker player. Smith is no stranger to Brunson’s poker greatness as he had played with him on multiple occasions.

Smith, who is now actively engaged in film production after retiring from professional poker in 2019, recently shared an update about the biopic project and how it all started.

Smith is closely working with Radar Pictures chairman and CEO Ted Field on the Brunson biopic. The former poker pro had always wanted to turn Brunson’s life into a movie but initially hesitated to share that idea with the poker legend thinking he might not be interested in doing it.

Legendary gambler Mike Svobodny, with whom Smith has had a close relationship for over a decade, eventually entered the scene and came up with a similar idea. Svobodny then reached out to his close friend Jack Binion who was Brunson’s best friend.

Binion liked the idea and soon after, Smith and Field flew to Vegas to meet Brunson and poker agent Brian Balsbaugh. That meeting paved the way for Field’s production company to secure the rights to Brunson’s life story.

Smith and Field then started developing the script while getting inputs from Brunson himself and other big names including Daniel Cates, Mike McGuinness, David Oppenheim and Illya Trincher.

A-List Director Interested in Brunson Biopic

Smith said his primary involvement in the project made him appreciate Brunson’s life and poker journey even more, and while the Texas poker legend didn’t get the chance to see the whole thing completed, Smith finds great consolation in the fact that Brunson got to read the initial script and was excited and happy about it.

An A-list director has already read the script and expressed a “very strong interest” in it, Smith disclosed, which means the biopic could soon be adapted for the big screen.

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