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Monday, October 10, 2005

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Filmmaker Zak Penn is lining up some poker buddies for his next directing outing. Penn, who recently made his helming debut on Incident at Loch Ness, will be sitting around the table with Ben Affleck, David Schwimmer, William H. Macy, Richard Kind and German helmer Werner Herzog for a comedy feature set during an international poker tournament. The project will start filming early next year at the Golden Nugget casino.

The untitled feature will be in the style of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Christopher Guest mockumentaries with each actor knowing their character and then working with Penn and the other actors to create mostly improvised scenes. Penn, who has long played cards including rounds with each of the actors save Macy (who doesn't gamble), hopes to secure a few more poker-playing actors to star in the film.

The ante, which will be kept under $10 million, is being provided by Insomnia Entertainment, a young company created to promote casino gaming. Golden Nugget owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling and Station Casino's Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are partners in the company with Trent Othick, who runs the company and will produce the film. Matt Bierman and Gary Marcus will also produce, with Lance Stockton serving as co-producer.