EXCLUSIVE: The hottest package going into the weekend is the drama about the controversial medical company Theranos, which has Jennifer Lawrence attached to play its 32-year-old founder Elizabeth Holmes, and Adam McKay directing after he came off winning the Oscar for co-writing and directing another hot button pic, The Big Short. Deadline revealed last week that Lawrence and McKay would be teaming on this, and a package of background materials was sent to numerous buyers this morning.
Sources said there are already multiple offers on the table, this before a round of pitches that will be done by McKay on Monday before a decision is made. It’s possible the property could be taken off the table this weekend, and it certainly looks like it is going to fall in line with the demand that drove the recent hot package deal for the Max Landis-scripted Bright that came with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, and which Netflix won.
This is a different kind of package, but it has McKay, and Lawrence, Hollywood’s most bankable female star. It also has a provocative and timely subject matter that offers the potential for a movie in the spirit of The Big Short and The Social Network, here showing how Wall Street falls in love with the potential behind a potentially disruptive company, and the complications that can arise. Theranos is the blood-testing startup that Holmes founded in 2003, with claims it could test blood with only a pinprick instead of the traditional method of drawing blood by injection. That potential left Theranos with a $9 billion valuation as recently as two years ago. The company has since come under investigation over claims of inaccurate testing and Holmes’ own worth — at one point valued at $4.5 billion for her 50% stake — has fallen to a fraction of that. The last valuation by Forbes placed the company’s net worth at $800 million.
Gary Sanchez is producing the film and McKay is repped by WME and Mosaic; Lawrence by CAA. Stay tuned. This will be a lively auction before it is decided.