New Regency has scored the worldwide rights to the Scarlett Johansson-led true story tale “Rub & Tug” which her “Ghost in the Shell” director Rupert Sanders will helm and is said to be akin to “American Hustle” in tone.
Budgeted at over $30 million and set in 1970s Pittsburgh, Johansson will play the larger than life Jean Marie Gill – a former blacksmith who adopted a male identity to brazenly take on the mob and build an empire of illicit massage parlors, prostitution and an anabolic steroids ring which fuelled the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL dynasty.
Cross-dressing to pull it off, and leaning on her allies in the gay community to help grow her power base, she also had a fiery romance with her girlfriend Cynthia which will form the emotional core of the story. The real Gill was ultimately arrested in 1984 for income tax fraud.
Gary Spinelli wrote the script and the film will be produced by Johansson, Spinelli, Joel Silver, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe and Jonathan Lia. Johansson is currently filming Taika Waititi’s “JoJo Rabbit” and the aim is for this to shoot very early next year.