Director Joe Carnahan has started principal photography on dark action comedy Smokin' Aces, a Universal Pictures and Working Title Films production. The feature is shooting on location in Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles.

Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Robert Graf and Liza Chasin serving as executive producers.

The film stars Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Peter Berg, Martin Henderson, Taraji Henson, and - in their film debuts - singers Alicia Keys and Common.

Carnahan (Narc) wrote the original screenplay about a mob boss who takes out a contract on a sleazy magician (Piven) who wants to testify against the Las Vegas mob. Two FBI agents (Reynolds and Liotta) are sent to protect him.

After Smokin' Aces, Carnahan plans to write and direct a project about Will Wright, who was a narcotics kingpin by age 17.