EXCLUSIVE: It garnered a lot of interest, but when the dust cleared it was Sony that nailed the project for producers Donald De Line and Amy Pascal by pre-empting the spec Marian for actress Margot Robbie to star. A nice role for Robbie to show some more of her acting chops, this time in a serious and truly gritty turn. Think Braveheart meets Game of Thrones. Robbie’s label LuckyChap Entertainment is also producing, with Rock Shaink, through his Romark Entertainment.
Scripted by newcomer Pete Barry, Marian is based on the character from the Robin Hood folklore. Here’s the storyline: After a conspiracy to conquer England in which the love of her life Robin Hood dies before her eyes, Marian picks up the cause to lead her people into a pivotal war. She comes to power, charging into a battle that will not only decide the fate of the kingdom but will see her don the mantle of the man she loved. In the process, she rises as a legend herself.
Robbie is currently at work on I, Tonya, the biopic about disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding that started shooting last month. Also on her plate is a further exploration of her Suicide Squad character in a project called Gotham City Sirens for Warner Bros. and director David Ayer — an all-female DC villains movie. In addition, she’s on two projects based on beloved characters from childhood books: Peter Rabbit at Sony/Columbia, a live-action/CGI hybrid feature based on Beatrix Potter’s classic characters, and Fox Searchlight’s untitled A.A. Milne project centered on Winnie the Pooh.
De Line and Steven Spielberg just produced the director’s Ready Player One for Warner Bros.; that comes out in March 2018. He also produced Zach Braff’s Going in Style from Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures), which comes out next month. Pascal is working on a slew of projects, including Molly’s Game and the tentpole Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as a feature based on Mattel’s Barbie toy line.
Paradigm — which is going on what, eight spec sales in a row?– also sold this latest spec on behalf of Barry. The writer also is repped by manager Andrea Dimity of Pannon Entertainment and attorney Jeff Frankel. Robbie and LuckyChap are repped by Management 360, CAA and attorney Jeff Bernstein; the actress additionally is repped by Aran Michael Management.