Metropolitan bets on ‘Casino Jack’

Film unit acquires rights to Spacey biopic

Political biopic “Casino Jack,” starring Kevin Spacey, has been acquired for domestic distribution by Metropolitan, which plans a fall opening.

Metropolitan, led by James Schramm, made the announcement Monday while unveiling the launch of its distribution operations. It obtained the rights from Rollercoaster Entertainment.

Casino Jack,” based on the story of convicted power broker Jack Abramoff, is directed by George Hickenlooper from a script by Norman Snider. It also stars Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston, Jon Lovitz, Spencer Garrett and Rachelle Lafevre.

Gary Howsam, Bill Marks, and George Vitetzakis produced the film, with Richard Rionda Del Castro, Donald Zuckerman, Lewin Webb, Dana Brunetti, Patricia Eberle, Warren Nimchuk, Angelo Paletta and Domenic Serafino exec producing.

Abramoff was convicted in 2006 of defrauding Native American casinos.

This was a golden opportunity to make a film about white-collar thuggery in Washington,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s ‘Wall Street’ and ‘GoodFellas’ in our nation’s capitol.”

Metropolitan said it will service approximately 20 releases per year. It also said it committed at least $10 million to acquire and support the “Casino Jack” release.

CAA, which reps Hickenlooper, Spacey, and Preston, together with Cassian Elwes, brokered the deal on behalf of Rollercoaster. In addition to Rollercoaster, production financing was provided by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), HSBC (Canada) and Media Capital Group. Hannibal Pictures is handling international sales.

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