Awkwafina to play most successful female gambler in history in The Baccarat Machine
The movie is inspired by the incredible true story of Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun and her unlikely partnership with legendary poker player Phil Ivey.
Awkwafina is going all in with her latest role.
The Golden Globe-winning actor and comedian (real name Nora Lum) is set to star in The Baccarat Machine, EW has confirmed. The movie (still under a working title) from SK Global — aka the company behind Crazy Rich Asians — is inspired by the “incredible true story of the most successful female gambler in modern history, Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, and her unlikely partnership with legendary poker player Phil Ivey.”
Based on Las Vegas insider Michael Kaplan’s article “The Baccarat Machine” published in Cigar Aficionado, the gambling and revenge drama follows the young Chinese woman “who turns a painstakingly developed talent and obsession for payback into beating the system at their own game,” according to a press release. After major casinos attempted to blacklist Sun from gambling, she partnered with the international “King of Poker” Ivey to take down the system from the inside using “subterfuge, ingenuity, and pure daring, resulting in one of the most ingenious legal gambling runs ever documented.”
With SK Global financing and producing, The Baccarat Machine will also be produced by Jeffrey Sharp of Sharp Independent Pictures. Penning the script is Andy Bellin, and producers are currently in talks with potential directors. Additional casting will be announced shortly.
Awkwafina currently stars in Comedy Central’s Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which has already been renewed for a second season. Most recently on the big screen, she appeared in Jumanji: The Next Level and starred in The Farewell, in which she won her Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress in a Musical or Comedy.