Last week, many in the film community were surprised when Annapurna Pictures dropped the upcoming Roger Ailes drama. The all-star cast and subject matter made many consider it a potential awards player when it releases. With a cast that includes Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and Allison Janney, the hype is real. However, there might be reason to pause. Earlier this week, both Amblin and Focus Features passed on the project. The Jay Roach film should be starting production in a couple of weeks, only adding to the pressure. Now, it appears Lionsgate could take it on.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate and the producers have engaged in discussions about the studio acquiring the film. BRON Studios will still co-finance and produce, which should help production get underway. The holdup for the other studios could potentially be the cost. The budget soared to $35 million, making it a risk at the box office. Considering Roach’s last few films, including “Trumbo” and “The Campaign,” have not lit the box office on fire, it could be a real gamble.
Simultaneously, this could be an issue stemming from Annapurna. The budget ballooned, but so did the impressive cast. The subject matter is clearly strong, with Oscar-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph writing the script, a lot of money was likely thrown around. Annapurna raised the budget so high it might mean some actors or actresses would need to take a pay cut in order to proceed. On the other hand, some of the studios approached might think the film just doesn’t work. That would be the far worse issue for Roach’s next project. Hopefully, Lionsgate can close the deal, and we can get the film by next Fall.