New Republic Pictures (NRP) and Dirty Films have signed onto produce Queen Bitch & The High Horse. The film, written by Eric Matthew Brown with Troop Zero‘s Bert and Bertie set to direct, will be produced by Cate Blanchett, Coco Francini and Andrew Upton of Dirty Films alongside Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer of New Republic. This is the first feature acquired under Dirty Films’ first look deal with New Republic.
Inspired by the largest municipal fraud in American history, Queen Bitch & The High Horse is the cautionary tale of town sweetheart turned corrupt public servant Penny Banks, an ambitious, larger-than-life woman whose passion for civic duty was eclipsed only by her love of horses and ultimately her own hubris. As Penny rises the ranks of city hall, she turns the town into her personal piggy bank, embezzling millions to fund a show horse empire that would take her from the podunk rodeo circuit all the way to the winner’s circle in Kentucky.
“We are beyond excited to bring this gorgeously penned, compelling, funny and fiendish film to screen with such a brilliant team. Queen Bitches, you’re going to love it,” said Bert and Bertie.
“We are thrilled to bring this fantastic script to life with our partners at New Republic Pictures and the formidable directing team of Bert & Bertie, who will bring their signature playful and bold vision to this timely, resonant film about what happens when citizens deify their leaders, and the leaders forget who they serve,” said Blanchett, Francini and Upton.
Bert & Bertie are a BAFTA award-winning international female writing/directing duo who made their feature directorial debut with the 2019 Sundance Film Festival premiere Troop Zero, starring McKenna Grace and Academy-Award winners Viola Davis and Allison Janney, for Amazon. The pic was also in included in multiple top 100 movies of 2020 to watch lists, according to audiences. Bert & Bertie are currently in production directing half of the episodes for the highly anticipated Marvel/Disney+ series Hawkeye, with Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld starring. They are also developing Kingdoms of Oz with Orion TV and The Return for Wiip, based on the bestselling book by Rachel Harrison, with Temple Hill producing. Bert & Bertie have also recently directed multiple episodes of Kidding, starring Jim Carrey, on Showtime, and the Golden Globe-nominated The Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu.
Brown is currently adapting his sci-fi thriller short story, How Easy, into a feature for Ed Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front) to direct and Ben Shields Catlin producing. He also has another short story, Blink Speed, in development with producer Matt Jackson (The Trial of the Chicago 7).
Verve negotiated the deal on behalf of Bert and Bertie and Brown.
Dirty Films is repped by CAA. Bert and Bertie are repped by Verve and the Nord Group. Brown is repped by Verve, Lighthouse Entertainment and Jacob Shapira at Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman.