EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has won Heads of State, a pitch package designed to re-team John Cena and Idris Elba, who star in the upcoming The Suicide Squad sequel at Warner Bros. The project was sold after a Zoom pitch presentation with the actors, screenwriter Harrison Query, and the producers (The Safran Company’s Peter Safran and John Rickard). The actors are finalizing, and this was a high six figure against low seven figure deal for the writer. Amazon moved quickly to halt the pitching process and take Heads of State off the table.
Specifics are being kept under wraps, but I’m told this is a ’90s style two-hander, a high octane premise that has a bit of Air Force One meets Hobbs and Shaw, bringing together an odd couple in a high stakes situation. A producer on the James Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad, Safran came away from the shoot feeling strongly about the chemistry between Cena and Elba, and they looked for a vehicle. They turned to Query, who in late July made a splashy Netflix deal teaming with his brother Matt and producer Scott Glassgold on the horror pitch My Wife & I Bought A Ranch, based on a short story by Matt Query that ran in six parts on Reddit.
Max Jacoby will co-produce for The Safran Company, which is readying for release The Conjuring sequel The Devil Made Do It, and is prepping the next installments of Aquaman, Shazam, along the The Peacemaker, a Suicide Squad spinoff that is being turned into a series that James Gunn is writing and directing for HBO Max with Cena as its star. Shooting is scheduled for January.
Query is repped by Verve and Ground Control; Cena is repped by ICM Partners and Elba by WME, The Artists Partnership, and M88.
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