Dahl shifts to helm Damon in ‘Rounders’

NEW YORK — Director John Dahl has shuffled his dance card at Miramax.

A plan to direct Michael Keaton in the film “Blackout” has been postponed, and instead Dahl will direct Matt Damon in “Rounders,” a film to be produced by Spanky Pictures partners Ted Demme and Joel Stillerman.

“Rounders,” by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, follows a reformed gambler who resurfaces in the New York underground poker scene to help a paroled buddy pay off loan sharks. Project was just greenlit for a December start in New York by Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Tracy Falco will serve as associate producer.

Damon stars in Miramax’s “Good Will Hunting,” which he co-wrote; the pic will be released Dec. 5 in N.Y. and L.A., followed by a national release Jan. 23. Damon will also be seen starring with Claire Danes in Francis Coppola’s adaptation of John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker.”

Dahl’s deal was completed by William Morris’ Josh Donen and Damon’s repped by CAA’s Patrick Whitesell. Presumably, Dahl will then return to “Blackout,” a film he co-wrote.

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