EXCLUSIVE: Bold Films will finance the Margot Robbie project Dangerous Odds in which the I, Tonya Best Actress Oscar nominee will play cleaning lady-turned-illegal sports betting empire boss Marisa Lankester. The project was picked up in turnaround from Warner Bros., where Robbie’s production company LuckyChap Entertainment has a first-look deal.
The project is based on Lankester’s memoir Dangerous Odds: My Secret Life Inside an Illegal Billion-Dollar Sports Betting Operation, which originally was won by Warner Bros. in a January 2015 auction as exclusively reported by Deadline. LuckyChap and Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360, will produce with Bold, and the feature is based on a script by Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton).
Lankester’s rags-to-riches tale is set during the 1980s as she rises through the ranks and takes on a pivotal role establishing the first offshore gambling operation, growing it into a billion-dollar-a-year criminal empire.
Said Bold Films Chairman Michel Litvak: “We are incredibly excited to work with Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie at this momentous time in her career. She will do an amazing job bring this thrilling true story and fascinating character to life.”
Added Bold Films CEO Gary Michael Walters, who is serving as EP with Svetlana Metkina: “It’s a great character; it’s a female Scarface in the rise of this great criminal operation under the leadership of a very savvy woman. Margot Robbie is an extraordinary actress and couldn’t be hotter right now. She is so versatile and strong with comedy, drama and action — she really is the full package, and that’s rare. She’s built up a great production company with LuckyChap.”
These type of independent films in the budget range of $25M-$35M are Bold’s sweet spot, and there’s a strong appetite for such fare in the current indie marketplace. Robbie’s film canon has reaped close to $1.9 billion at the global box office.
“We are building LuckyChap off of a passion to tell female-driven stories that feel original, unique and rebellious in nature,” LuckyChap Entertainment said. “We found all of this in Marisa’s story and couldn’t be more excited to partner with Bold Films and 360 to bring Dangerous Odds to the screen.”
LuckyChap Entertainment Principals Robbie, Tom Ackerley, and Josey McNamara will produce alongside Bold Films’ Litvak and Jon Oakes and Management 360’s Ben Forkner. Management 360’s Gabe Cohen, Chris Huvane and Jill McElroy are also EPs.
LuckyChap was behind I, Tonya. After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Neon and 30WEST jointly acquired the title for $5M and churned out close to $30M at the domestic B.O. as well as three Oscar noms for Robbie as Best Actress, Allison Janney for Supporting Actress and Best Film Editing. LuckyChap recently produced the Vaughn Stein-directed title Terminal starring Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, and also completed Dreamland starring the actress and Travis Fimmel. The label also recently sold the comedy Dollface to Hulu. Back in December it was announced that LuckyChap closed a two-year first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Robbie is repped by CAA, Management 360, Aran Michael Management in Australia and Jeff Bernstein of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein. CAA also arranged the financing deal for the film and will rep its domestic distribution rights.