So what exactly happened yesterday with production company Annapurna?
Just two weeks before principal photography would start on their Roger Ailes biopic, 'Fair and Balanced,' they bailed. The film, in all likelihood, was going to be a player for awards contention in 2019, not just because of its topical subject matter but also because it starred John Lithgow as Ailes, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch and Margot Robbie as a fictional Fox News-employed character. Wowza.
They also pulled the plug on "Hustlers," a based-on-a-true-story Jennifer Lopez stripper drama.
Then, as if the drama wasn't enough to take, Annapurna film head Chelsea Barnard, who was in charge of both projects and who’d been Ellison’s “right hand” since Annapurna launched six years ago, was given the axe.
So what gives? Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro reported that the Ailes flick's budget had skyrocketted in recent months and that Annapurna had enough of Barnard's inability to control the project. But how about "Hustlers"? My theory is that the J-Lo film, on paper, sounds like a misbegotten project and something Annapurna doesn't normally green-light. Maybe Barnard got ahead of herself with these projects, who knows. Surely, more answers are to come.