LaKeith Stanfield Joins Shane Black’s ‘Play Dirty’

“Book of Clarence” actor LaKeith Stanfield has joined Mark Wahlberg in director Shane Black’s latest film, “Play Dirty,” announced Tuesday.

The film is an adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s “Parker” novels focused on a professional thief, to be played by Wahlberg, who is double-crossed and left for dead. In his quest for revenge he stumbles upon a huge heist. Stanfield will play Grofield, described as Parker’s partner who is also a con artist and actor.

Charles Mondry, Anthony Bagarozzi and Black himself are the screenwriters on the project with Jules Daly and Marc Toberoff as producers. Joel Silver was initially listed as a producer until he was fired in November over allegations of verbal abuse.

“Play Dirty” has gone through some casting changes since its inception. Robert Downey, Jr. was initially planned to star. The project would have reteamed him with director Black who worked with the actor previously on “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” and “Iron Man 3.”

Downey Jr. and Susan Downey of Team Downey as well as Black, Mongry, Bagarozzi and James Skotchdopole are executive producing with Ezra Emanuel as a co-producer.

Stanfield can currently be seen in “The Book of Clarence” playing a man in Biblical times who fashions himself a Messiah. It reteams him with director Jeymes Samuel and co-star RJ Cyler; the trio previously worked on the revisionist Western “The Harder They Fall” in 2021. He was also in Disney’s most recently take on “The Haunted Mansion,” directed by Justin Simien and released in 2023.

Westlake’s 28 “Parker” novels have been a popular source of adaptation material since their publication in 1962. In that time Lee Marvin has played the title character in 1967’s “Point Blank,” as has Jim Brown (1968’s “The Split”), Robert Duvall (1973’s “The Outfit”), Peter Coyote (1983’s “Slayground”), Mel Gibson (1999’s “Payback”) and, most recently, Jason Statham (2013’s “Parker”).

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