Lion at poker table

Rhymer to pen card game pic as interest heightens

HOLLYWOOD — MGM has placed a bet of $1 million to purchase an untitled poker pitch from Don Rhymer (“Big Momma’s House”) for Dylan Sellers to produce.

Comedy revolves around the exploits of three men who scheme a way to play in the world series of poker tournament in Las Vegas without their wives finding out. Rhymer will pen the script.

MGM is picking up the project as interest in poker is suddenly heating up as a spectator sport on television. Cablers Bravo, Fox Sports, ESPN and the Travel Channel have recently been broadcasting poker tournaments and celebrity matchups, which have turned into ratings grabbers for the webs.

MGM is looking to put the project on the fast track, with Rhymer expected to deliver his script in midsummer. Pic could head into pre-production as early as the fall.

MGM exec Toby Jaffe will shepherd the project for the studio.

Poker project will be Rhymer’s second for the Lion, after writing “Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London,” which Sellers also produced.

Rhymer, repped by UTA and Kustom Entertainment, has become a go-to scribe, penning a sequel to “Big Momma’s House” for Fox and Regency. His other credits include the first “Big Momma’s House,” Disney’s “Santa Clause 2” and “Jumanji 2” for Columbia.

Sellers is producing Disney’s “Cinderella Story.” He has a first-look deal at Warner Bros. and a second-look pact at MGM.

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