Breaking Vegas: According to Variety, Brett Ratner is coming on board to direct the MGM gambling caper Breaking Vegas, with Kevin Spacey producing.

The project is based on Ben Mezrich's nonfiction bestseller "Bringing Down the House," about six M.I.T. students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

MGM acquired the rights to the book in 2002.

Peter Steinfeld, who wrote Be Cool, the Lion's sequel to Get Shorty, penned the adaptation, which could start lensing in early 2005.

The project's been in search of a new name since Disney's Touchstone laffer "Bringing Down The House" hit big at the B.O., and has been known by a number of different titles, including "21," "Beat the House," "The System" and "Beginner's Luck."

Spacey is eyeing the supporting role of the students' M.I.T. professor.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.