EXCLUSIVE: Leslye Headland is rewriting to direct for HBO Films a picture based on American Huckster: How Chuck Blazer Got Rich from-and Sold Out-the Most Powerful Cabal in World Sports. Will Ferrell is attached to star as Blazer, a hustler from Queens who managed to wheel and deal his way to the top of FIFA, the governing body of soccer—and the most powerful and corrupt sports organization in the world.
The book was written by Mary Papenfuss & Teri Thompson, and a previous script draft was written by Robert Siegel. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Red Wagon and Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez are executive producing with Headland, and Lucas Wiesendanger overseeing for Red Wagon and Betsy Koch and Jessica Elbaum overseeing for Gary Sanchez.
Gary Sanchez goes into the weekend nominated for Best Picture for Vice, with McKay up for Best Director and Best Screenplay among the eight Oscars for which the film is nominated.
Headland takes the job hot off her new series Russian Doll. She started her career writing and directing the Seven Deadly Plays series at the IAMA Theatre Company. That included Bachelorette and Assistance which both transferred to New York, and Bachelorette marked her directorial film debut for a black comedy that starred Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson, premiering at Sundance in 2012. She then wrote the About Last Night remake, and wrote and directed Sleeping with Other People. Her TV series credits include Terriers (FX), Blunt Talk (Starz), SMILF and Black Monday (Showtime), Heathers (Paramount) and most recently Russian Doll (Netflix).
Headland and Ferrell are repped by UTA; Ferrell’s managed by Mosaic.