Posted on Monday, August 9th, 2021 by Joshua Meyer
Jennifer Lawrence‘s last film was Dark Phoenix in 2019. But she has a new movie with Leonardo DiCaprio coming this year, Don’t Look Up, and now a bidding war has opened over her next project, a biopic about talent agent Sue Mengers.
Deadline reports that Lawrence is circling the Mengers project and director Paolo Sorrentino (The Young Pope) is already attached, with streaming services like Apple TV+ and Netflix looking to scoop it up. Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo, and John Logan wrote the screenplay. Mengers was an “agent who crashed the Hollywood boys club of agenting … brandishing an outsized personality to go with her client list.”
She was most active during the New Hollywood era in the late ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s. According to Deadline, her client list included such names as Barbra Streisand, Candice Bergen, Peter Bogdanovich, Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon, Cher, Joan Collins, Brian De Palma, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, Sidney Lumet, Ali McGraw, Steve McQueen, Mike Nichols, Nick Nolte, Tatum O’Neal, Ryan O’Neal, Anthony Perkins, Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Gore Vidal, Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, and Tuesday Weld.
A Return to the Screen for Lawrence
Logan, the creator of Penny Dreadful and three-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Gladiator, The Aviator, and Hugo, previously told Mengers’ life story in a stage play starring Bette Midler. As for Lawrence, it’s been a while since we saw her onscreen in a major starring role. Even before Dark Phoenix fizzled at the box office, trailers had revealed that her X-Men character, Mystique, would perish, becoming the catalyst for Jean Grey, the titular Phoenix, to go dark.
Lawrence exited the picture early and it almost seemed like one of those things where she was contractually bound to appear in a fourth film but asked them to kill off her character so she could be done with the franchise. In 2018, she headlined Red Sparrow under her old Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence. Before that, she starred in Mother for Darren Aronofsky in 2017 and co-starred with Chris Pratt in Passengers in 2016.
Lawrence won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, and at one point in the mid-2010s, she was the world’s highest-paid actress. However, Looper notes that her most recent movies were commercial failures and that she needed a break from acting when her life became tabloid fodder.
This Mengers biopic, with its focus on a superagent crashing the Hollywood boys club, seems like a role that would be worthy of her focus: something in the vein of Joy, her 2015 biopic with Russell about Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. It would naturally be a major get for Apple TV+ or Netflix if they could add a Jennifer Lawrence film to their list of originals.
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