Earlier this month, we learned that Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence was teaming up with fellow Oscar winner Adam McKay for The Big Short director’s pitch about embattled medical company Theranos and its founder, 32 year-old Elizabeth Holmes – which is now titled BAD BLOOD.
Now the bidding war is starting to heat up, with a total of nine offers on the table for the Lawrence/McKay package which also includes a book proposal by Pulitzer Prize winning author and Theranos investigative reporter John Carreyou. We’re hearing that Universal and Legendary Pictures have an edge right now. This, after Mary Parent recently led Legendary and Universal to a huge victory in their winning bid for the Dwayne Johnson pitch Skyscraper. Also in the mix are Amazon Studios, Cross Creek, Fox 2000, Morgan Creek, Paramount, STX, TWC, and Warner Bros.
The story will center around the company, which claimed to have revolutionized blood testing by being able to use only a pinprick of blood rather than traditional methods of drawing blood by injection with a device called Edison. The company is now under investigation over claims of inaccurate test results – controversy which has sent Holmes’ net worth from a peak of $4.5 billion to a fraction of that, and leaves the company’s fate in jeopardy. Theranos is currently under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The price for McKay’s script is reportedly in the $3 – $4 million range, while the total budget of the pic would be roughly $40 million.
With The Big Short, McKay proved that he could successfully make the pivot from broad, if absurdist, comedy, to powerful storytelling rooted in real-life drama, while Lawrence’s career has shown time and time again that she’s capable of pulling off just about anything.
Lawrence recently starred in David O Russell’s Joy, in which she depicted another real-life entrepreneur Joy Mangano – a role that landed the 25 year-old actress her fourth Oscar nomination. She will next appear on screen in Passengers opposite Chris Pratt.
McKay took home his first Oscar for his work on the screenplay to The Big Short, which took on another scandal in a major industry – the housing bubble that ultimately triggered the 2008 financial crisis. He’s currently in development with a slew of projects, including The Hustlers at Scores with Annapurna. McKay is a producer with partner Will Ferrell on the upcoming Amy Poehler comedy, The House.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more…
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.