It's been awhile since Kevin Spacey first latched on to Ben Mezrich's novel, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, after reading an excerpt from the book in Playboy magazine. Spacey picked up rights to the book last year, deciding to produce and star in the true-life story about a bunch of MIT kids who, well, took Vegas for millions. Actually, the students won the money by mastering the art of card counting -- instead of working the strip as prostitutes -- in case you were wondering.
At the time, Shawn Levy was interested in directing after Brett Ratner (who was originally tapped to direct) left the project to helm X-Men 3. However, Levy was bounced and now Robert Luketic will be helming with principal photography beginning this February in Boston and Las Vegas. In order to separate itself from that Steve Martin/Queen Latifah comedy, as well as to shorten things up, the film will now be called 21 and Spacey has found his co-star. Jim Sturgess, who recently crossed over to big screen work after starring in several small screen projects, has landed the lead role and will play an MIT student who travels to Vegas in order to learn how to scam the joint. Spacey will act as his mentor. Peter Seinfeld and Allan Loeb penned the script, and there's currently no word on a release date.