Everything We Know About Netflix’s ‘The Ballad of a Small Player’ Starring Colin Farrell and Tilda Swinton

Netflix News
The Ballad Of A Small Player Netflix Movie

Pictures: Getty Images

After the large success of All Quiet on the Western Front, director Edward Berger has recently struck a first-look deal with Netflix. Under this new deal, his first project with the streamer will be The Ballad of a Small Player thriller starring Colin Farrell and Tild Swinton.

Edward Berger will direct the movie, while the script is written by Rowan Joffe, whose writing credits include Tin Star, The American, The Informer and more. Mike Goodridge is producing through his Good Chaos banner along with Berger for his Nine Hours banner as well as Matthew James Wilkinson for Stigma Films.

Berger has several other projects at Netflix following his huge success with All Quiet on the Western Front. He’s attached to The 39 Steps as an executive producer and director and is also publicly announced to be part of an adaptation of Christopher Reiche’s The Take. He was attached to a project called The Atomic Bazaar, but development on that has ceased. Last year, we also heard he was attached to a movie project called Last Adventure, about someone sailing around the world and going after a missing ship full of equipment from the Iraq War.

What’s the plot of The Ballad of a Small Player?


Netflix’s The Ballad of a Small Player is based on Lawrence Osborne’s 2014 novel of the same name. Here’s the official Netflix logline for the movie:

“The story follows a high-stakes gambler who decides to lay low in Macau after his past and debts catch up with him. Along the way he encounters a kindred spirit who might just hold the key to his salvation.”

Here’s a more lengthy plot synopsis of Osborne’s novel as seen on Amazon:

As night falls on Macau and the neon signs that line the rain-slick streets come alive, Doyle – “Lord Doyle” to his fellow players – descends into his casino of choice to try his luck at the baccarat tables that are the anchor of his current existence. A corrupt English lawyer who has escaped prosecution by fleeing to the East, Doyle spends his nights drinking and gambling and his days sleeping off his excesses, continually haunted by his past. Taking refuge in a series of louche and dimly lit hotels, he watches his fortune rise and fall as the cards decide his fate.

In a moment of crisis he meets Dao-Ming, an enigmatic Chinese woman who appears to be a denizen of the casinos just like himself, and seems to offer him salvation in the form of both money and love. But as Doyle attempts to make a rare and true connection, all that he accepts as reality seems to be slipping from his grasp.

Who is cast in The Ballad of a Small Player?

Tilda And Colin

Colin Farrell has been cast as Doyle in Netflix’s The Ballad of a Small Player. His most recent credits include Banshees of Inisherin, The Batman, The Gentlemen and more. He is set to return as the Batmab villain Penguin in Max’s spinoff The Penguin later this year.

Joining Farrell will be Tilda Swinton, whose role hasn’t been confirmed. Swinton’s recent credits include The Killer, Throusand Years of Longing, Asteroid City and more.

On May 13th, 2024 – scooper Jeff Sneider revealed that Fala Chen (Shang-chi, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire) had landed the third lead role. Netflix confirmed the news.

Fala Chen Photo Credit Mary Fix

Fala Chen – Picture: Mary Fix

What’s the production status of The Ballad of a Small Player?

Netflix’s The Ballad of a Small Player is currently in pre-production with the script already written. Filming is set to start this Summer in Asia.

What’s the Netflix release date for The Ballad of a Small Player?

Netflix’s hasn’t confirmed a release date for The Ballad of a Small Player, but as production starts this Summer, there is a possibility for a Late 2025 release. Alternatively, we could see it on the streamer sometime in 2026.

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