EXCLUSIVE: After the bidding war, Apple Studios has landed Trolley, a new feature film starring Oscar nominated Florence Pugh to star with screenplay writer Vanessa Taylor and Drew Pearce. Insiders close to the project point out that the project is not enlightened at this time as the script has yet to be written and a director has yet to be reached. Insiders add that the package has attracted interest from four bidders in total, including several studios and another streamer with Apple TV + emerging as the winner earlier this week.
The film is a sci-fi courtroom drama in which a robotic “companion doll” kills her owner and then shocks the world by claiming she is not guilty and asking for a lawyer. The film, which is based on the Elizabeth Bear short story of the same name, contains elements of both classic courtroom drama and science fiction.
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Apple Studios is committed to producing with Pearce who also produces through Point of No Return Films, and Pugh and Taylor will be executive producers. Ian Fisher executive produced through Point of No Return Films.
Pugh quickly became one of Hollywood’s rising stars in the ranks of leading women after her star turn Middle and Oscar nominated role in Little woman. She then stars in Marvel’s Black Widow is set to hit theaters in May 2021, and she recently began production as a leading female role in Don’t worry darling for New Line, directed by Olivia Wilde. She has also recently focused on playing in The maid adaptation at Universal.
The sale marks the first big sale for Pearce’s new production company and the project garnered widespread attention through Pearce’s innovative use of a full video pitch, which saw the project be seen by many. potential buyers simultaneously – something particularly useful in a landscape where studios, banners and investors proliferate. Pearce successfully sold the Untitled Fall Guy / Stunt Man Pitch in a competitive situation with Universal with Dave Leitch in charge and Ryan Gosling starring this fall in September using the same video pitch methodology.
Taylor is best known for her Oscar winning work on The shape of water, which she co-wrote with Guillermo del Toro. She recently wrote the Netflix adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy with Amy Adams and Glenn Close.
Pugh is replaced by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Curtis Brown and Associates and attorney Ziffren Brittenham. Taylor is replaced by ICM Partners, Robert Offer at Sloane Offer Weber Dern and 42 West. Pearce and his Point of No Return films are covered by WME and Jim Gilio and Warren Dern at Sloane Offer Weber Dern. Taylor is represented by Doug Johnson at ICM Partners and Robert Offer at Sloane Offer Weber Dern.
Apple’s original film list includes AFI Fest winner, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, Dublin Film Critics Circle, Chicago Film Critics Association, Chicago Indie Critics, film Critics’ Choice Super Award winning animation Wolfwalkers; the recently created and nominated for the Critics Choice Award Palmer with Justin Timberlake, directed by Fisher Stevens; Film nominated for the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award On the rocks, Doggy style written by and with Tom Hanks; the winner of the Grand Jury Prize of the Sundance Film Festival Boys state, which also won two Critics Choice Documentary Awards.
Apple TV + will also be showing expected movies soon, including new Anthony and Joe Russo movie. cherry, with Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo; and winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize CODA.