Spacey Speaks About Sudden Death of 'Casino Jack' Director George Hickenlooper

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Emmy-award-winning director George Hickenlooper was found dead on Saturday morning in Denver, where he had been preparing for the upcoming release of his latest film, "Casino Jack," starring Kevin Spacey as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In a statement to Deadline, Kevin Spacey said, "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."

The star adds, "That 'Casino Jack' turns out to be his last, the pride I feel in it, in his direction, his ideas and the final results . . . has soared. He deserves for audiences to see it and discover his work. And then go out and see what he did before, cause he will deservedly find a whole new audience. And nothing would make George happier than for people to see his work."

47-year-old Hickenlooper was best known for directing the 1991 documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse," which explored the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s "Apocalypse Now." His other films included "Factory Girl," and "The Man From Elysian Fields."

"Casino Jack" will open on Dec. 17 in New York and Los Angeles.