The true story drama Bad Education had a crowd-pleasing screening at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival. Thus it’s no surprise to hear that it’s been snapped up for a hefty price. HBO have paid upwards of $17.5 million for the film, which will arrive on the network’s platform globally, including streaming services like HBO Max.
That’s the largest deal of the festival, but also less than the $20 million pricetag producers were asking for. Still, the film is expected to be an awards contender when it arrives for global audiences in 2020.
Directed by Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds) and written by Mike Makowsky (I Think We’re Alone Now), the film stars Hugh Jackman as Frank Tassone, a Long Island public school district superintendent. The film tells the true story of Tassone’s involvement in a scam that embezzled millions of dollars from the district to cover personal expenses which became increasingly exorbitant.
The movie also stars Allison Janney, Ray Romano, and Geraldine Viswanathan. It’s the first of many true stories from excellent magazine articles to be adapted into a feature.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are developing a film based on a nationwide Monopoly scam. Leslie Jones and Kristen Bell are starring in Queenpins, revolving around Phoenix housewives who create a scheme to counterfeit coupons, and are soon sitting atop $40 million.
Michael Keaton is starring as millionaire John McAfee, who left his antivirus business to move to the Belize Jungle to begin a bizarre life, while Laura Dern and Will Ferrell are starring in Fruitcake, a drama about a middle-class couple who embezzled $17 million from a world famous bakery in Texas.
Perhaps chalk this up to the renewed interest in true crime over the last half-decade. Who knows. Bad Education is a great get for HBO, as they try and expand their reach and compete with other streaming giants with HBO Max. It’s also great to see original films still developing a bidding war.