Spacey deals lead for gambling film

Kevin Spacey has found the lead for “21,” his long-developed Columbia card-counting pic. Jim Sturgess will play an MIT student who heads to Vegas to beat the casinos.

Spacey may play his mentor. He is producing with Dana Brunetti under their Trigger Street Prods. banner as well as with Michael DeLuca.

Robert Luketic will direct, and Sony is eyeing a February start date.

Project is based on Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction tome “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions,” which Trigger Street optioned when it was published in 2002.

Peter Steinfeld and Allan Loeb have adapted it into a screenplay.

Sturgess’ only film appearance to date has been in the indie “Mouth to Mouth.”

But he’s had a busy year. He recently wrapped on Julie Taymor’s “Across the Universe” for Sony and Revolution; he plays the male lead opposite Evan Rachel Wood. And he is currently filming “The Other Boleyn Girl,” with Eric Bana and Natalie Portman, also for Sony.

Sturgess is repped by ICM; Spacey is repped by William Morris.

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