EXCLUSIVE: Fast & Loose, a drama that has Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw helmer David Leitch directing and Will Smith starring, has become the subject of a major bidding battle that started yesterday and is playing out today. Script by Jon and Erich Hoeber (Meg, Red) was originally developed by STXfilms, when Leitch was only aboard as producer and there was no star. Now that Leitch is the helmer and Smith is ready to make it his next star vehicle after he teams with Antoine Fuqua in the runaway slave drama Emancipation for Apple, the project has blown up since a decision was made to shop it to studios and streamers.
Sources said most everybody is in on this one, including Warner Bros, Paramount, MGM and Sony, with the streamers now in the mix. Leitch and Kelly McCormick will produce for 87North, and Smith, his co-president and head of motion pictures Jon Mone and James Lassiter are producing with Westbrook Studios.
Here’s the logline: After the leader of an upper-echelon criminal organization suffers memory loss from an attack, he reunites with his crew, only to find that things aren’t what he thinks they are. When John Riley (Smith) wakes up in Tijuana after being left for dead with absolutely no memory, he follows a string of clues to uncover his identity discovering he’s been living two different lives: one, as a super-successful crime kingpin, surrounded by beautiful women, expensive toys, and a lavish lifestyle and the other as an undercover CIA agent, but with a puny salary, no family or home life whatsoever, and zero trappings of success. The problem is, he can’t remember which of these two personas is his true identity, and, more importantly, which life he really wants to live.
Leitch and Smith and their companies are plenty busy. Upcoming Westbrook film projects include a remake of the 1980s John Hughes classic Planes, Trains & Automobiles to star Smith alongside Kevin Hart, as well as Emancipation, latter of which became the largest film fest acquisition in movie history. There is also King Richard, with Smith playing Richard Williams, father to tennis greats Serena and Venus and the upcoming sports drama Redd Zone, starring Jada Pinkett Smith.
87North is currently in production on Bullet Train, the assassin actioner that stars Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, and Bad Bunny, which Leitch is directing and McCormick is producing. Upcoming films include The Fall Guy starring Ryan Gosling, directed by Leitch and produced by McCormick; the Bob Odenkirk-starrer action thriller Nobody, which marks the first film produced under 87North’s first look deal with Universal Pictures; and the Netflix thriller Kate starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Woody Harrelson.
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