Talk about overdoing the customer complaints... When Princeton student Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) discovers he’s been swindled by an online poker site, he takes his grievance straight to the top – entrepreneur Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). But he doesn’t get a coupon for a free game – he gets much more than he bargained for. Check out the first trailer for Runner Runner.
Yes, the new thriller finds Richie heading off to Puerto Rico to track down Block, who has made millions running gambling sites. Our young poker addict (who had been using his winnings to pay for college) is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce him to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmanoeuvre the two forces closing in on him.
It certainly has the sheen of a slick thriller, and the idea of Timberlake going up against Affleck (with Anthony Mackie as the FBI agent and Gemma Arterton as the woman who comes between the two) has promise. Empire was on-hand at one of the sweltering Puerto Rican locations last summer, to learn that, despite being written by Rounders veterans Brian Koppelman and David Levien, this is much less a poker movie than a crime thriller.
"I was actually looking forward to taking the summer off," Timberlake told us, "but I read the script and met with Brad [Furman, the director], and his whole vision was just so high-stakes that it pushed me over the edge. I wasn't really aware of this world; I'm not a big gambler. But I tried to learn as much as I could, and I liked the idea that, behind the curtain there's something really seedy going on, and I liked the life-or-death stuff that Brad was talking about."
Runner Runner, is out on September 27. Keep an eye on future issues of Empire for our on-set coverage.