The Big Short writer-director Adam McKay is preparing to take on the underbelly of financial intrigue from a slightly different angle. Sources confirm that McKay and partner Will Ferrell have picked up the film rights to Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article, THE HUSTLERS AT SCORES, McKay, Ferrell, and Jessica Elbaum will produce under their Gloria Sanchez Productions.
The article, published in December of 2015, offers an in-depth look at a group of ex-strippers who, in a real-life Robin Hood tale, hustled men who deserved it by luring them into hotel rooms, drugging them, and maxing out their credit cards. According to the women Pressler interviewed, the targets were always wealthy jerks and disgusting perverts.
“There’s something extra-satisfying about persuading a man who thinks you’re trash to spend his time and money on you,” says Rosie, one of the many fascinating characters at the center of Pressler’s piece.
Adapting features based on magazine and newspaper articles isn’t exactly new territory in Hollywood, but there has been a recent uptick in the sale of film rights from long-form essays published by freelance periodical contributors. Jennifer Aniston is set to star as the real-life sports dealmaker Denise White in The Fixer, based on the Men’s Journal article, “The Woman Who Balls Out the NFL’s Bad Boys” by Paul Solotaroff. Julia Roberts is set to star in and produce ADX, based on the NY Times Magazine article, “Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison,” while Lee Daniels is developing the Slate article “The Welfare Queen” into a feature.
Recently, James Franco signed on to direct another stripper-centric story, Zola Tells All, based on David Kushner’s Rolling Stone article “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind The Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted.”
McKay is known for his broad comedies starring Ferrell, specifically his work with the Anchorman franchise. He also co-founded the comedy website Funny or Die and TV/Film production company with the Saturday Night Live alum and Chris Henchy. His past directing credits include Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Other Guys, and Step Brothers. He recently received Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for The Big Short, which also received a Best Picture nod.
Ferrell can currently be seen in Zoolander 2 and is known for his work as the star of the Anchorman movies. He has a number of film and TV credits including Daddy’s Home, Get Hard, The Lego Movie, and The Last Man On Earth. He also stars in the aforementioned The House and can be seen in the forthcoming Zeroville.
Elbaum is the President of Gloria Sanchez, the production arm of McKay, Ferrell and Henchy’s Gary Sanchez Productions. Formed in 2014, the company’s primary focus is on the development of female-driven film and television projects. Elbaum, a long-time production executive to McKay and Ferrell, is the producer of Bachelorette, Sleeping With Other People, and the Anchorman movies. She is currently working with McKay and Ferrell on The House, starring Amy Poehler.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer