21 (2008) Poster



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Although set in the then-present day, i.e. 2007/8, the film is based on teams active between 1979 and 1994. And at one point, more than 80 players were on the original MIT team.
The "2.09" robotics competition shown in the movie is based on the actual "6.270" programming competition at M.I.T.
The main characters upon which the film 21 is based were Asian. Controversially, mostly Caucasian actors were cast. Jim Sturgess required a dialect coach to speak with an American accent.
The problem Prof. Rosa mentions in class with the three doors is known as the Monty Hall problem.
According to Kevin Spacey, as part of their research for the film, they took some of the real players who was on the original team to Vegas. Although they weren't allowed to play, every time they wanted Spacey to up his bet, they would push up against his chair. He said, "I would win every time!"
Boston University students were used as extras in many of the classroom scenes.
The movie was used as a luxury prize for the contestants on the Big Brother (2000) 9 in the US. They played a competition involving blackjack, and the winners got to see a special advance screening of the movie. One contestant won a trip to Las Vegas worth $21,000, which included a three night stay at the same hotel the actors from the movie stayed in.
The printed source code for the robot is from NOAA's National Geodetic Survey GPS Toolbox.
Third movie released in less than four years to have Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth in the cast together. The other two are Beyond the Sea (2004) and Superman Returns (2006).
The small statue of a reclining nude, seen on the desk of the Harvard med Professor Bob Phillips during Ben's Robinson Scholarship interview, is by Venezuelan-born sculptor Maria Gamundi.
The sunglasses worn by Laurence Fishburne throughout the movie and at the end by the pool are Randolph Engineering Aviators.
Jim Sturgess' long-time girlfriend at the time was also called Mickey, resembling Kevin Spacey's character Micky.
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In one scene, Professor Rosa tells Ben he'll do well (at the heavily numbers-based task for which he's recruited him) because his brain is like a Pentium chip. This is a reference to the Intel Pentium microprocessor. Ironically, early versions of the Pentium processor had a bug where they would return incorrect results from arithmetic operations under specific conditions.
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Jeff Ma: The real life inspiration behind the character Ben Campbell as a Planet Hollywood blackjack dealer, referred to by Ben Campbell as 'my brother from another mother'.
Gustaf Skarsgård: Long-haired man working for Cole Williams. He can be seen chasing Ben in the final run out of the casino.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

An alternate ending was shot, where Micky Rosa evaded capture from Cole Williams. After retirement, Cole spots Micky gambling on a boat and the two trade stories about their past.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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