Scarlett Johansson is set to become emerged in the dark and murky waters of the underworld in Rub & Tug. An American Hustle-type feature which is set to be directed by her Ghost in the Shell director, Rupert Sanders.
New Regency has bagged the worldwide rights for the feature which is based on true events. Johansson will play the larger than life Jean Marie Gill; a former blacksmith who adopted a male identity to brazenly take on the mob, build an empire of illicit massage parlours, prostitution and an anabolic steroids ring which fueled the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL dynasty.
Gill builds on her empire by cross-dressing and leaning on her allies in the gay community to help grow her empire. However, it is Jean’s fiery romance with her girlfriend Cynthia that truly defines her and forms the emotional core of the story.
Production is due to begin on the feature in February 2018 on an estimated budget of $30 million. Gary Spinelli penned the script and the film will be produced by Joel Silver, Tobey Maguire, Johansson, Matthew Plouffe, Spinelli and Jonathan Lia. Silver Pictures president Hal Sadoff will be executive producer with Ethan Erwin, Sarah Meyer, Richard Weinberg and Brendan Koerner.
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Johannson is currently filming Taiki Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit. She will also reprise her role of Black Widow in the sequel to this year’s Avengers: Infinity War and is thought to return as the current in Marvel’s own spin-off feature on the character. The standalone is currently seeking a director which has a short list of Cate Shortland, Amma Asante, Kimberly Peirce and Maggie Betts.