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R.I.P. George Hickenlooper

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE: I’m still trying to discover how George Hickenlooper passed away, but I’m told he had been in Colorado campaigning last night for his cousin, John, who is in the final stretch run of the Governor’s race in Colorado. John, the mayor of Denver, is the Democratic Party candidate. Hickenlooper went early to Denver to help his cousin, and had to be there later this week, when Casino Jack will be shown Thursday at the Starz Film Festival. I’m told that George didn’t wake up this morning, but I’m still not sure why.

UPDATE: George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack star Kevin Spacey has sent me a statement on the shocking passing of his director. “It is with great sadness that I have to even think about writing about George in this way, when I was looking forward to seeing him next week in Los Angeles,” Spacey said. “We have been due to take our film on the road toward its release in December. I can’t believe he’s gone because George was so alive, bubbling with energy, drive, commitment, an open heart and a brilliant sense of humor. He was one of a kind.

“My experience working with him was nothing short of fantastic: from our prison visit with Jack Abramoff, to script meetings, pre-production discussions and finally our first day of shooting. From that day until … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Casino Jack’

Mike Fleming

Here’s a new and longer trailer for Casino Jack, the George Hickenlooper-directed drama about the rise and fall of lobbyist Jack Abramoff that’s being released December 29 by ATO Pictures to take advantage of a strong performance by Kevin Spacey. Nice to see Jon Lovitz back in a movie.

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Jack Abramoff Pic ‘Casino Jack’ Being Shown To Distributors; Metropolitan Denies It Is Out

Mike Fleming

100106_CasinoJackMainEXCLUSIVE: Is Casino Jack ever going to see the light of day? The feature drama about the rise and fall of D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff certainly seems to have a lot going for it. Kevin Spacey in the starring role, cooperation from Abramoff — who allowed Spacey and director George Hickenlooper to visit him in jail– and an 8-figure distribution deal by upstart independent distributor Metropolitan.

What a turn of events for the film, and Abramoff! The ex-lobbyist has been sprung and works for a kosher Baltimore pizzeria. He might be up to his eyeballs in dough, but a lack of money due from Metropolitan has prompted the makers of Casino Jack to reclaim the film. They say Metropolitan has defaulted, and CAA is showing it to distributors again. They hope to make a new deal that will keep plans intact for an October opening to exploit what the filmmakers believe is an awards-caliber performance by Spacey.

The Casino Jack development parallels the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor film I Love You Phillip Morris. In April, Deadline revealed that Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp reclaimed that film from upstart distribution company Consolidated Pictures Group, after CPG was late with funds and canceled three release dates on a movie that has already been released around the world. While CPG denied it was let go, I’m told EuropaCorp—which sued CPG—will close a new deal shortly.

Metropolitan owner, Romar Entertainment’s James Schramm, vehemently denied he has defaulted, or that … Read More »

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