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Luketic films MIT Vegas scam and Matt Helm

RobertLuketic.jpgRobert Luketic is turning away from romantic comedies and turning to more serious ground. His next film is called 21 and is based on the non-fiction book by Ben Mezrich entitled Bringing Down the House: How Six Students Took Vegas for Millions which tells the tale of the six M.I.T. students who learnt professional card counting and took the Vegas casinos for millions.

Kevin Spacey is to star in the film, and rightly he should since he's a fine actor and he optioned the rights to the novel after reading an excerpt of it in Playboy. The adaptation is written by Peter Steinfeld alongside the relatively new screenwriter Allan Loeb. Steinfeld also wrote Analyze That and Be Cool. Luketic has previously directed Monster-in-Law, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton and Legally Blonde, so this should mark some new, and much stronger territory for him.

The story comes from Production Weekly, and over at their freely accessible edition they have a few extracts from the novel itself, both of which sound pretty good. I think I might add that to my Xmas wish list!

There's an even newer project on Luketic's in tray though, and it's currently billed as Untitled Matt Helm Project. That sparked something off in my head and I had a little investigation. It's being written by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt who together have such names as Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma and 2 Fast 2 Furious (before the huge rewrites I think). Then I noticed why I knew it, it's taken from the book Death of a Citizen by Donald Hamilton, which is a long series of superior spy novels from the late sixties.

Dean Martin (a huge hero of mine) made four films starring this character, The Silencers, Murderers' Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew. Although these films had a different feel to the books, they were still great none the less. What will be interesting is how this film is handled. Looking at Luketic's direction and the screenwriters involved, I think this is going to be source material stuff and a lot harder than the Martin character we've seen. A new Bourne series perhaps? This one has 21 novels to it's name!



Oh I like this kind of stories! Then maybe the CIA or the NSA would recruit them 6 students into their teams?

We thought the same thing Rich, I am thinking of the next books to purchase, you just gave me an idea, thanks!

There was Canadian TV-movie which loosely based a story on this exact idea. Film starred two actors from Ginger Snaps - Kris Lemche and Katharine Isabelle, the film was (awfully) titled called "THE LAST CASINO" and while solidly entertaining could certainly have been better.

This one should be interesting, it is a great story and interesting book.


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