There are two names cast in Guy Ritchie's upcoming movie RocknRolla that come as a bit of a surprise... Gerard Butler and Tom Wilkinson. I say surprise because it's been seven years since Snatch and Ritchie looked to be on top of the Hollywood ladder, but then he got married to Madonna and what followed was a vain attempt to make her a film star in Swept Away and then an ultra-confusing ego trip with Revolver (one of the worst reviewed movies of 2005 here in Britain).Rubbing the salt in even more was the way his Snatch and Lock Stock writer Matthew Vaughn went out and made the ultra stylish Layer Cake which led many to believe he was the real talent behind those British gangster flicks. Back to RocknRolla, and The Hollywood Reporter tell us that Thandie Newton, Idris Elba and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges have also joined the cast which Ritchie has wrote and will direct, about a Russian mobster who conducts a land deal for millions of dollars which alerts all of the London criminal underworld who want to get their hands on the cash.
Butler stars as a One Two, a street-smart mobster who has learned to play both sides of the fence, and Wilkinson is playing the lethal head mobster, Lenny Cole, part of London's old mob regime, which is quickly losing ground to the wealthier foreign mob. Newton acts as One Two's love interest, Stella, an accountant with ties to the underworld, and Elba acts as Mumbles, One Two's partner. Bridges is playing Roman, an American trying to break into the music scene in London.Principal photography begins on June 19th and although I did like some bits of Snatch, I absolutely hated Lock, Stock and I haven't seen his post-2000 flicks. Sounds like from the plot, he's going back to the caper genre which made his name, which is most definitely a good idea.