MGM bets ‘The House’

Spacey to produce, act in scam pic

MGM is placing its chips on Kevin Spacey and his Trigger Street Prods. banner.

The studio has acquired rights to the Ben Mezrich book “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” for a film that Trigger Street will produce. Spacey is planning to play a supporting role in the film.

Published in October by Free Press, “Bringing Down the House” is the true story about a group of students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

“Like ‘Oceans Eleven,’ it’s that story of beating the house, only this story is true,” said Michael Nathanson, chief operating officer and prexy of MGM Pictures. “Kevin will play the M.I.T. teacher who is this brilliant ringleader, and there are great parts for a young cast. We want to start production before the end of 2003.”

Spacey will produce the film with Trigger Street cohorts Dana Brunetti and Bernie Morris. TSP got involved in the book earlier this fall. MGM execs Elizabeth Cantillon and Stephanie Palmer will oversee the project and move quickly to hire a scribe.

As Spacey prepares for the early 2003 opening of the Alan Parker-directed “The Life of David Gale,” his Trigger Street banner continues a busy pace. Aside from launching a Web site designed to help neophyte directors and screenwriters gain exposure, Trigger Street is in post-production on “The United States of Leland,” with Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle and Jena Malone. TSP’s first documentary, “Uncle Frank,” will be aired by HBO in 2003.

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