Mike Faist and Dennis Boutsikaris Join ‘Pinball’

October 20, 2021

As exclusively reported in Deadline, MPI Original Films (MPI) announced today Mike Faist (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen) and Dennis Boutsikaris (Better Call Saul, The Bourne Legacy) are set to star in Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game. They will join Crystal Reed (Swamp Thing, Teen Wolf), who was previously announced as the female lead in this MPI Original feature-length dramedy. The film is based on the true story of writer and pinball wizard Roger Sharpe and his journey to overturn New York City’s 35-year ban on pinball. 

Mike Faist will play ‘young Roger’ in Pinball. He will soon be seen in theatres worldwide as ‘Riff’ in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. He was nominated for a Tony Award for originating the role of ‘Connor Murphy’ in the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. Additional New York theatre credits include Steven Levenson’s Days of Rage (Second Stage), A Month in the Country (Classic Stage Co.), and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate (Signature). In addition to West Side Story, Faist’s film work includes Fritz Böhm’s Wildling and The Grief of Others which both premiered at SXSW, and, most recently, The Atlantic City Story in which he played opposite Jessica Hecht.

Two-time Obie Award winner Dennis Boutsikaris will play ‘present day Roger’ in Pinball. Boutsikaris was the first American to play Mozart on Broadway in Amadeus, and his Broadway credits include Filumena (directed by Sir Laurence Olivier), Bent, and the 2009 revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Boutsikaris’ films include The Bourne Legacy, Oliver Stone’s W., *batteries not included, Dream Team, Crocodile Dundee 2, and the upcoming Violet directed by Justine Batemen. On television he can presently be seen as Richard Schweikart in Better Call Saul. His other many television credits include Law and Order, Shameless, Billions, and Sidney Lumet’s 100 Centre Street. Boutsikaris received the award for Best Actor at the Phoenix International Film Festival, the Long Island Film Festival, and the SINY Film Festival for his work on the independent film Calling it Quits.

The award-winning writing and directing duo Austin and Meredith Bragg will helm Pinball. Most recently The Bragg Brothers wrote and directed the MPI Original comedic short A Piece of Cake starring Rich Sommer (GLOW, Mad Men), which was nominated for Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival. Their work for Reason TV has garnered three first place wins for Best Comedy at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards as well as a National Magazine Award nomination.

Production is set to begin this month. Tony Glazer, Summer Crockett Moore, Stacey Parks, Lana Link, and Rob Pfaltzgraff are set to produce, and Nick Reid and Roger Sharpe will executive produce. Faist is represented by A3 Artists Agency and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Boutsikaris is represented by AKA Talent Agency and Main Title Entertainment.

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