Deadline is exclusively reporting that New Regency has won an auction for an American Hustle-like true story named Rub And Tug, which will have Rupert Sanders directing and Scarlett Johansson set to star in the lead role.
Rub and Tug is set to be a fact-based story of a woman who flourished in a male-dominated business of massage parlours and prostitution by essentially taking on the physical identity of a man. Jean Marie Gill was a larger than life character who took on the mob and became the crime kingpin of Pittsburgh in the 1970’s, through her empire of illicit massage parlours and an anabolic steroids ring that helped fuel the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL dynasty, whilst also crossdressing and leaning on her allies in the gay community to help grow her empire. However, it’s her fiery romance with girlfriend Cynthia that truly defines her and forms the emotional core of the story.
New Regency was successful in their bid for the worldwide rights, with sources telling Deadline that they hope to begin production in February 2019 and the budget is set to be around the $30m range. The script was written by Gary Spinelli and the film is a co-production between Silver Pictures, Maguires Material Pictures and These Pictures. Joel Silver will serve as producer on the project alongside Toby Maguire, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew Plouffe, Gary Spinelli and Jonathan Lia. Silver Pictures President Hal Sadoff will serve as executive producer on the project alongside Ethan Erwin, Sarah Meyer, Richard Weinberg and Brendan Koerner.