Movies on casino gambling have been made in the past and have raked in millions of dollars. Another addition to the list is the upcoming film “21” which revolves around the popular game of blackjack. The thriller film, set to begin shooting by February in Boston and Las Vegas, will star Jim Sturgess and Japanese-American special effects artist Masi Oka of the NBC TV series “Heroes” playing a supporting role. Producing the movie are Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti and Michael de Luca while Robert Luketic will be directing it.
The film “21” is based on the best-seller book of Ben Mezrich titled “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.” People who are avid players of blackjack should be familiar with this movie. The main character is Kevin Lewis, a junior M.I.T. student, who joined an underground blackjack club together with his five classmates and managed to win millions of dollars in casinos across America. The club focuses on blackjack counting cards and beating the system of major casinos around the globe. Lewis’ blackjack team composed of math geniuses traveled weekly to Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other gambling areas and bet as much as 50 thousand dollars for every hand.
With the guidance of a former MIT professor and an obsessive blackjack player who was able to come up with a system of verbal cues, body signals and role-playing, the group of young card counters developed a system for playing and winning big in casinos known as “spotters” and high-stakes rollers. While their other classmates were studying hard in laboratories and libraries, Lewis and his team led a glamorous life enjoying VIP treatment in casinos including complimentary suites, meals, tickets to boxing matches and partied with showgirls and celebrities. The casino managers made sure to give them the perks to keep them coming back. Lewis and friends, using 20 different aliases and disguises, posed as children of rich Asian businessmen as casinos are usually less doubtful of Asians shelling out huge sums of money compared to just a group of white youngsters.
The team succeeded in their goal and took three million dollars from some of the world’s best casinos in less than two years. This angered casino owners who later hired private investigators to follow Lewis and his team and take revenge. A violent revenge ensued one fateful day when the young MIT wizards were followed home from Vegas to Boston.
If you like thriller films on gambling like Ocean’s 11 and 12, then you must see this movie when it hits the theaters.