STXfilms has acquired global rights to Queenpins, a comedy that reteams The Good Place and Veronica Mars stars Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste. The movie, about the largest coupon counterfeit scam in U.S. history, also reunites STX with Bad Moms franchise star Bell, and it puts the studio in possession of another female-driven property. It’s a genre with which it’s had a hot streak at the box office with Bad Moms, A Bad Moms Christmas, I Feel Pretty and Hustlers collectively making $566.5 million worldwide.
The pic, written and directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, centers on a suburban housewife who is fed up with being dismissed and overlooked by her husband and society. She decides to take back control of her life by starting an illegal coupon club. Her creation ends up scamming millions of dollars from big food companies while delivering deals to millions of fellow coupon clippers. Vince Vaughn and Paul Walter Hauser will also star.
STX will distribute the movie in the U.S., UK and Ireland and will handle international distribution through its network of global partners. The project was announced Tuesday by Adam Fogelson, chairman of the STXfilms Motion Picture Group.
AGC Studios, Marquee Entertainment and Red Hour Films are producing. AGC’s Linda McDonough will produce alongside Red Hour’s Nicky Weinstock. AGC Studios chairman Stuart Ford and Miguel A. Palos Jr will executive produce alongside Ben Stiller and Breean Solberg of Red Hour. The project was developed by McDonough under her Marquee Entertainment banner prior to joining AGC earlier this year.
“We love everything about this comedy, especially reuniting with our friend Kristen Bell, who is paired perfectly with Kirby Howell-Baptiste – we know they’ve got great chemistry, and Kirby has shown she is a master of this kind of comedy in Why Women Kill,” Fogelson said. “Audiences love this kind of entertainment – it’s a subversive suburban comedy for moms that dads will enjoy too. We’re thrilled to be working with Aron and Gita as we tell this fun story.”
Said Ford, “Aron and Gita have pulled together a phenomenal cast and Queenpins is shaping up to be exactly the kind of broad, multi-generational, multi-cultural comedy caper that STX have enjoyed great success with in the past. Adam and his team are a perfect home for the film and we’re excited to get going with them.”
Bell previously starred for STX in Bad Moms and A Bad Moms Christmas, and recently wrapped four seasons of NBC’s The Good Place and reprised her vocal role as Princess Anna in Frozen II. She also recently released her New York Times bestselling children’s book The World Needs Purple People. She is represented by CAA and James S. Adams at Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams, Berlin & Dunham.
Howell-Baptiste has had major recurring roles on HBO’s Barry, for which she shared SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Ensemble, and NBC’s The Good Place. She starred in the first season of the CBS All Access series Why Women Kill, the first season of BBC America’s Killing Eve and ABC’s Downward Dog. She also had recurring roles on Netflix’s Love, co-created by Judd Apatow, and the fourth season of Veronica Mars. Her upcoming film roles include Disney’s Cruella, starring opposite Emma Stone; Silent Night, with Kiera Knightley; and Happily, starring Joel McHale. She is represented by CAA, Mosaic, Sarah Stephenson in the UK and Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light.
Gaudet and Pullapilly are best known for their Emmy-nominated feature documentary The Way We Get By. They made their narrative film debut with Beneath the Harvest Sky. They have also been selected for Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative, and last year they created the US–India Film Initiative, formed to foster an exchange of ideas between Hollywood and Bollywood. They are in development with Adam McKay on Crook County and are directing an Untitled Sackler Project for 101 Studios. They are represented by CAA and Kim Hodgert at Anonymous Content.