Blackjack: Oka is all in for Col's '21'


Masi Oka is putting on his poker face for Columbia Pictures' casino-set thriller "21."

The breakout star of NBC's rookie hit "Heroes" and a special effects artist-turned-actor, Oka is in talks to play a supporting role in the film inspired by the true story of a group of men who learned the art of card counting and won millions of dollars gambling. The film is based on Ben Mezrich's best-seller "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions."

Jim Sturgess will star in the long-gestating project, which picked up steam last year when director Robert Luketic dropped out of a big-screen adaptation of "Dallas" to helm "21." The blackjack tale is scheduled to begin shooting in February in Boston and Las Vegas.

Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca are producing. Columbia's Elizabeth Cantillon and DeVon Franklin are overseeing for the studio.

Oka, who once appeared on the cover of Time magazine under the headline "Those Asian-American Whiz Kids," worked for years as a CGI artist at ILM on such films as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and the recent "Star Wars" trilogy. He is nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Hiro Nakamura on "Heroes."

He is repped by GVA Talent.