Ivanhoe Pictures, which produced “Crazy Rich Asians,” has partnered with Jeffrey Sharp and Sharp Independent Pictures to finance and co-produce “The Baccarat Queen” about Chinese gambler Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun.
The project is inspired by Michael Kaplan’s article “The Baccarat Machine,” published in Cigar Aficionado, about Sun amassing millions of dollars of winnings by teaming with “King of Poker” Phil Ivey and using a technique known as edge sorting — recognizing the use of playing cards in which the edges on either side are unevenly cut by fractions of an inch.
Ivanhoe plans to develop a predominately English-language film featuring Asian characters. Ivanhoe and Sharp will produce.
“‘The Baccarat Queen’ is a truly captivating story that will feature a diverse international cast, a goal that Ivanhoe continues to pursue as global storytellers,” Ivanhoe Pictures president John Penotti said. “We are thrilled to partner with Sharp as we tell this exciting, high-stakes tale of cunning and revenge.”
Sharp has partnered with Ivanhoe parent SK Global on the upcoming drama “Stride,” written by Neville Kiser and Sophia Pan, with Arvin Chen set to direct; and the recent Stephon Marbury biopic “My Other Home,” written and directed by Larry Yang, for Huayi Brothers and Hairun Pictures in China.
The “Baccarat Queen” deal was negotiated on behalf of Kaplan by Peter Miller of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management and Orly Ravid of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp; on behalf of Sun by Michelle Chang at Ramo Law; on behalf of Sharp and Sharp Independent by Paul Almond of Fischbach, Perlstein, Lieberman & Almond; and on behalf of Ivanhoe by SK’s Brian Kornreich.