Hue Rhodes' drama based on Dante's 'Inferno'

Production has begun on “Saint John of Las Vegas,” a drama that stars Steve Buscemi, Romany Malco, Emily Mortimer, Tim Blake Nelson, John Cho, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Peter Dinklage.

Newcomer Hue Rhodes wrote the script and makes his feature directing debut.

In a loose adaptation of Dante’s “Inferno,” Buscemi plays an ex-gambler who’s under the tutelage of a maverick insurance fraud investigator (Malco). The film is shooting in Albuquerque, N.M., and Las Vegas.

Pic is the first financed by IndieVest Pictures, launched in 2007 by Wade Bradley, Mark Burton and Matt Wall to finance production, P&A and self-distribution of films with under $10 million budgets.

The film is also the first generated by Olive Prods., a production shingle formed earlier this year by Buscemi, Stanley Tucci and Wren Arthur.

IndieVest’s Burton and Wall are producing with Circle of Confusion’s Lawrence Mattis and Kelly McCormick. Buscemi, Tucci, Arthur and Spike Lee are the executive producers.

IndieVest is covering the entire $3.8 million budget, and Burton said the company has assembled its financing by uniting a pool of high-net-worth individuals. A distribution head will be named shortly, and the company will contract out its publicity and marketing on each film, with the goal to build a library.

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