Jim Sturgess got into MIT–in the movies, that is.
The SXSW Film Festival in Austin has chosen Robert Luketic’s 21 as its opening film. SXSW runs from March 7-15.
21 is based on Brian Mezrich’s book “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.” The cast includes Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, and Kevin Spacey, who also produced. The film opens nationwide on March 28th.
I saw a TV documentary on this a few years ago, and it was really interesting. The professor who created the project–and that’s the word, because it wasn’t conceived as a get rich quick thing, but really an exercise in analyzing a situation and constructing a way to beat the odds–created a test to choose students who would do the best, then put them through a rigorous training program. When they finally went to the casinos, they were as prepared as you can be, with specific responses for every situation. It worked for a while, then the casinos began to notice them and their pictures started circulating. They started scattering around to other smaller casinos around the country, but eventually the project shut down. They won for a while, but eventually the house caught up with them. Doesn’t it always?
This made good doc material, but I’m a little worried about converting it to an onscreen fictionalized account. The cast of generic Hollywood pretty people isn’t likely to be as interesting or as quirky as the real life participants, and I’m sure they’re going to throw in some extraneous romance or some other junk. Well…we’ll see, I guess.