Top streamers such as Apple and Netflix are reportedly bidding on a biopic about legendary Hollywood talent agent Sue Mengers, with Jennifer Lawrence tapped to the star in the lead role and Paolo Sorrentino on board to direct. Deadline confirmed the hot package is being shopped around, adding: “We hear that Apple is in the mix for the Sue Mengers project, and has read the script with Netflix also buzzed to be another contender for the project.”
Matthew Belloni, former editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, also confirmed Apple and Netflix are two of the big contenders for Lawrence and Sorrentino’s Sue Mengers movie. Writing in his “What I’m Hearing…” newsletter, Belloni shared that the “Apple bid is in the $80 million range, says one source, including the $20 million-plus fee for Lawrence to star and produce with partner Justine Polsky via their Excellent Cadaver shingle.” John Logan, Lauren Schuker Blum, and Rebecca Angelo wrote the screenplay.
Per Belloni’s newsletter: “The Mengers story is certainly compelling movie fodder. She broke barriers in the ‘60s and ‘70s, representing everyone from Barbra Streisand to Michael Caine to Cher before being elbowed out of Hollywood by men like Michael Ovitz and becoming a home-bound industry observer and confidant. Morgan Spurlock tried to put together a Mengers film back in 2016, and Bette Midler played her on Broadway in 2013. In addition to the meaty role for four-time Oscar nominee Lawrence, the new script is said to include fun parts for current stars to play some of those ‘70s-era Mengers clients.”
The Mengers biopic would mark another collaboration between Lawrence and Sorrentino, who won an Oscar for “The Great Beauty” and created HBO’s “The Young Pope” and “The New Pope.” It was announced in 2019 that Lawrence would star in and produce Sorrentino’s “Mob Girl,” an adaptation of the true-crime novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Teresa Carpenter. Lawrence would play Arlyne Brickman, a Jewish woman growing up among racketeers on the Lower East Side of New York City who eventually becomes involved in the glamorous and flashy lifestyle of New York mobsters.
Sorrentino and Lawrence are no strangers to streaming, as both talents have Netflix original movies set to debut later this year. Sorrentino’s passion project “The Hand of God” is world premiering at the Venice Film Festival next month before hitting Netflix in the fall, while Lawrence stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay’s Netflix comedy “Don’t Look Up.” But just because Lawrence and Sorrentino have a history with Netflix doesn’t mean the Mengers biopic will land there. Apple is known to break the bank for A-list packages, recently acquiring Matthew Vaughn’s star-studded spy movie “Argylle” for $200 million. IndieWire has reached out to Apple for for comment.
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