EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED with more info: STX has acquired the Jennifer Lopez Hustlers project, which was cut loose by Annapurna earlier in the day. At the same time, Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu has joined the cast for a lead role per sources close to the project.
Soon after the news broke today that Annapurna was pulling out of Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes feature, Deadline confirmed that the Hustlers project based on the New York magazine piece “The Hustlers at Scores” was also leaving the studio. Variety first reported that Hustlers was leaving Annapurna.
Lopez, her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina had a great experience with the team at STX on the actress’ romantic comedy Second Act, which comes out on Dec. 14, that it was significant in them wanting to take Hustlers to the Burbank, CA studio. Tonight Lopez is debuting a new song on the American Music Awards from Second Act.
The Hustlers movie follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Lopez is set to portray the ringleader to the group. Gloria Sanchez, Benny Medina, Lopez and producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas are behind the film, which Lorene Scafaria wrote and is directing.
There is loose talk around town that Annapurna is seeing financial hardships, as this is the second film with which they have parted ways today. However, those close to Megan Ellison’s company simply say that the Hustler film wasn’t in their wheelhouse and that the company is re-calibrating. Word is the Hustlers project was in turnaround for the last month by Annapurna.
Wu is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA.