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Jennifer Lawrence and Paolo Sorrentino Teamed Up to Make a Talent Agent Sue Mengers Biopic

Apple and Netflix are among the streaming services that are bidding on a biopic about famed Hollywood talent agent Sue Mengers, who will be played by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, Deadline is reporting. Fellow Academy Award-winner, Paolo Sorrentino is attached to direct the film, which was written by Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo and John Logan.

Apple has read the script, and reportedly made an offer in the $80 million range. Netflix has also expressed interest in making an offer on the movie. The screen biopic comes after the agent’s life was turned into the 2013 Broadway play, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, which was directed by John Logan, and starred Bette Midler in the title role.

Lawrence and Sorrentino’s film will chronicle how Mengers entered the world of Hollywood talent agenting, an area of the industry that has largely been dominated by men, in the 1960s. She worked at MCA, ICM and WMA, and repped a list of clients that included Barbra Streisand, Michael Caine, Cher, Joan Collins, Brian De Palma, Bob Fosse, Gene Hackman, Steve McQueen, Nick Nolte, Tatum O’Neal, Ryan O’Neal, Burt Reynolds and Gore Vidal.

Mengers, who died at age 81 in 2011, was known for her outsized personality. She also made a name for herself through her devotion to her clients, which included landing them high salaries throughout her career. The talent agent was also known for championing young actresses as they started their careers, including Candice Bergen, Faye Dunaway, Cybill Shepherd, Ali McGraw and Dyan Cannon, and giving them a voice and stature in the business.

However, gross deals and contractual details weren’t Mengers’ specialty. As a result, she began to lose clients in the ’70s and ’80s when the business began to shift. In the mid-’70s, Mike Ovitz co-founded CAA, which immediately began revolutionizing the way agents represent and manage their clients.

Lawrence and Sorrentino’s biopic about Mengers comes after it was announced in 2016 that Super Size Me documentarian, Morgan Spurlock would be directing and producing a movie about the talent agent under his production company, Warrior Poets. The feature was set to be based on Brian Kellow’s bestselling biography, Can I Go Now: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s Superagent. That planned screen adaptation about the agent’s life never went in production, however, as the filmmaker stepped down from his position at the company the following year.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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