Entertainment & Arts

Emily Blunt To Star in ‘Pain Hustlers’ For Director David Yates; The Veterans, CAA Media Finance Launching Sales At Cannes

Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer) is attached to star in the upcoming film Pain Hustlers, from director David Yates (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore). Pic will be introduced to buyers at the Cannes Film Market by The Veterans and CAA Media Finance, going into production in late August.

While the genre of Pain Hustlers isn’t yet clear, it’s apparently similar in tone to such films as The Big Short, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street. It centers on Liza Drake (Blunt), a high-school dropout dreaming of a better life for her and her young daughter, who lands a job with a failing pharmaceutical start-up in a yellowing strip mall in Central Florida. Liza’s charm, guts and drive catapult the company and her into the high life, where she soon finds herself at the center of a criminal conspiracy with deadly consequences.

Wells Tower wrote the script. Lawrence Grey will produce under his Grey Matter Productions banner, alongside David Yates and Yvonne Walcott Yates’ Wychwood Pictures. (It was Grey who initially brought the project to Yates in pitch form, thereafter selling it to Sony Pictures.) Lewis Taylor and Ben Everard are executive producing, with Cyrus Mojibi, Patrick Wade, Lawrence Kao and Lloyd Everard serving as co-producers.

Yates is a multi–BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker best known for directing the last four films in the Harry Potter franchise, as well as all three of Fantastic Beasts films. His work for the big screen has grossed over $6 billion dollars worldwide to date. He has also helmed such acclaimed TV series as State of Play, Sex Traffic and The Way We Live Now.

Blunt is a Golden Globe winner whose recent film credits include Jungle Cruise, Wild Mountain Thyme, A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II and Mary Poppins Returns. The actress will also soon be seen in Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer for Universal, among other projects.

Tower’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. He was also included in The New Yorker’s list of 20 promising fiction writers under the age of 40. His film credits include The True American for Kathryn Bigelow and Annapurna and Framed for George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions and Netflix. On the television side, he wrote Paper for Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and HBO, as well as Mayor for Alec Baldwin and HBO.

Grey is also going into production this fall on Family Leave, with Jennifer Garner starring. He is at the same time prepping Yes Day 2, the follow-up to the 2021 smash hit Netflix family film Yes Day, which will see Garner returning to star.

Blunt is represented by CAA, The Artists Partnership, and attorney David Weber at Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; Yates by CAA, Casarotto Ramsay and Eric Brooks at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; and Tower by CAA and attorney Tara Kole at Gang, Tyre, Ramer.

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