Annapurna Pictures has lost one of its highest executives and at the same time has dropped two films from their upcoming slate.
The first film is the Roger Ailes biopic “Fair and Balanced” which only yesterday cast Malcolm McDowell to play Rupert Murdoch and is to begin shooting in two weeks. The ensemble piece stars John Lithgow as the former Fox News chief with the film detailing his ultimate downfall which happened after a number of women sued him for harassment. Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Allison Janney and Kate McKinnon co-star.
Budget issues are reportedly a likely reason Annapurna dropped the project with Bron Studios now co-financing the $35 million film. Shortly after word broke of its abandonment, Focus Features swooped in and is now set to handle the film’s production and release.
At the same time, the studio is dropping the Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu-led “Hustlers at Scores”. Lorene Scafaria helms the film about dancers at the titular club and how they made money due during the financial crisis in 2008. STX is reportedly in advanced talks to buy the film and continue development.
This is all happening as Chelsea Barnard, President of Film at the studio, has apparently left the company with no reason given. The exec was reportedly spearheading both projects and now CEO Megan Ellison has taken over to ‘stabilize the slate’.