'Shade' hustles cast for dealer Nieman
Tue May 14, 2:16 AM ET by Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Sylvester Stallone,
Thandie Newton, Gabriel Byrne and Stuart Townsend will star
in RKO Pictures' crime thriller "Shade" from first-time
writer-director Damian Nieman. Production begins May 30 in
"Shade" is set in the world
of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles.
The tale unfolds as the hustlers -- Newton, Townsend and Byrne
-- encounter "The Dean" (Stallone) and pull off
a successful sting that results in their pursuit by a vengeful
RKO chairman and CEO Ted Hartley
is producing with Hammond Entertainment's David Schnepp
and Chris Hammond. Merv Griffin and Joe Nicolo
will executive produce with actor Bo Hopkins, who also
will appear in the film.
"It's been a long time since there has
been a cool L.A. movie; we hope this film does for modern Los
Angeles what 'L.A. Confidential' did for 1950s Los Angeles,"
Hammond said. He said that the producers plan to feature
numerous local landmarks in the film, including the Argyle Hotel,
the Magic Castle and the Roosevelt Hotel.
Hammond said the project takes its roots
in an underworld that very much exists in Los Angeles today.
"There is a network of card hustlers and
gamblers who use sleight of hand and card manipulation to get
what they want," he said. "Damian is a former
top-card 'mechanic' and is drawing on his own personal knowledge
for this film."
Said Hartley: "I could not think
of a better group of talented actors coming together on this RKO
picture. I believe this will be the first of a number of truly
exciting pictures that RKO will produce this year. We all
fell in love with Damian Nieman's screenplay with its colorful
cast of characters."
Cobalt Media Group's Peter Rogers and
Ralpho Borgos will handle international sales for the film,
which debuts on their sales slate at this month's Festival de
- Craig Zablo (May 14, 2002)