Hellmuth movie stirs up Wisconsin legislative argument

Phil Hellmuth

Lights, cameras and legislative action is needed if the movie about Phil Hellmuth has any chance of being filmed in the poker pro's home state. If legislators can't come to a consensus about tax breaks for filmmakers, the movie could end up being made in Canada.

The Wisconsin legislature has already passed a bill that will set tax breaks for filmmakers starting in 2008. Some argue that isn't soon enough though since Beacon Pictures plans to start filming The Madison Kid this summer.

The fact that Wisconsin could miss out on the benefits of having the movie made in their state about a local boy has some lawmakers upset and lobbying to have the tax break go into affect earlier.

"Why wouldn't we open the door now?" asked Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, in an L.A. Times article. "Why wait six months, especially if we're going to lose this film that's about one of our own?"

However, Sen. Russell Decker, co-chairman of the committee that has to approve a tax break change before the Senate and Assembly can vote on it, has said that one movie won't make or break the state and is in no rush to deal with the issue.

"We have a budget to repair, low-income child care to provide for, law enforcement efforts to fund," Decker said in the L.A. Times. "We don't know whether film will bring in many new jobs or if we're chasing after something that may not pan out."

In the meantime, production for the movie about Phil Hellmuth marches on whether it will be filmed in his home state or not.

Related Article: Hayden Christensen to Play Hellmuth in Movie

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