Another potential bidding war is heating up in Hollywood. Netflix and Apple are reportedly circling a new project that would see Jennifer Lawrence play Sue Mengers, the legendary, pot-smoking super agent with a coat of armor who did anything to get the best deal possible for her A-list clients. Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) is attached to direct.
Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo and John Logan have written the script, and Lawrence is set to produce the film under her Excellent Cadaver banner. Bidding has reportedly already eclipsed $80 million and is possibly up to $95 million. Considering the recent deals we’ve seen go down in excess of $400 million, the price should only go up.
The eventual price won’t quite get that high since this is an original project and not established IP like Knives Out, but Lawrence and co. should expect a much larger payday than they would otherwise get from a traditional studio who would be more concerned with actual ticket sales, something these deep-pocketed streamers don’t have to concern themselves with.
In her heyday, Mengers represented the likes of Candice Bergen, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen, and Ryan O’Neal.
But her most famous client was Barbra Streisand, and the duo would infamously split over Streisand’s insistence on making Yentl and Menger’s decision to push Streisand to star in All Night Long, a dud directed by Mengers’ husband, Jean-Claude Tramont.
There’s certainly a fun, juicy story to be told here, and this should be a hell of a role for Lawrence. It’s easy to see why any streamer would be interested in acquiring this project, as you get a big star on board in what’s potentially a major awards player a couple of years down the line.
Netflix potentially have the inside track to a deal, as Lawrence is already starring in the streamer’s upcoming black comedy Don’t Look Up, which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Meryl Streep, and is directed by Adam McKay. The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but is expected to arrive sometime this year.
Not only that, but Sorrentino’s next film, coming-of-age drama The Hand Of God, is also going to be a Netflix release with an awards season push later this year. So Apple will have to bid pretty high to only outbid Netflix, who will seemingly pay any price for valuable content, but to also pry Lawrence and Sorrentino away from somewhere they’re already familiar with.
We’ll keep an eye on this and see where the film lands. Alongside Don’t Look Up, Lawrence also has an untitled drama helmed by acclaimed theatre director Lila Neugebauer in post-production.