A bidding war is currently underway for an action comedy that teams Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum as wayward brothers.
Legacy studio Warner Bros. and streaming goliaths Amazon and Netflix are in the midst of trying to acquire Calamity Hustle, a new feature project from Aaron and Adam Nee, the sibling team that found success with their 2022 sleeper hit The Lost City.
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The Nee brothers are writing the script and are directing. Reynolds and Tatum would star and produce via their respective banners, Maximum Effort and Free Association. Also producing is Kevin Walsh, who is currently in the awards season mix with Napoleon, as are the Nees via their banner Persons Attempting.
While the number of studios involved may not be high, the price point is steep. According to sources, Warners went in with offers in the $20 million ballpark for each actor. Netflix and Amazon, meanwhile, both went in with a $50 million acting pot for the duo to split how they see fit.
The Nees could see paydays in the $6 million to 8 million range by the time the ink dries.
On Friday midday, sources said one offer came in at $175 million for the package, including above the line costs. The companies had no comment on any potential deals.
That put the above the line costs for the project at almost at $55 million out of the gate, making it out of reach for most movie companies. And it also illustrates that the streamers are still willing for pay sky high prices despite talk of reigning in costs.
The logline, according to sources, concerns a down-on-his-luck former Los Angeles detective-turned-private investigator who, after being shaken down by a vicious crime lord, must track down his estranged brother who is responsible for interfering with a diamond heist.
The project doesn’t seem to be a go movie, as sources indicate the script would get further development.
The Nees found mainstream Hollywood success with Lost City, a throwback two-hander action comedy on which they first worked with Tatum, who starred alongside Sandra Bullock. The movie grossed almost $193 million as Hollywood was emerging from the pandemic.
For the last few years they have been developing the Masters of the Universe feature, but Eternia seems to be living up to its name as the project plays musical chairs with studio homes. Earlier this year, Netflix let the project go, and Amazon is in negotiations to pick it up.
Reynolds is currently shooting Deadpool 3, which officially brings in one of the Marvel heroes from the Twentieth Century Fox era into the MCU and will be the only Marvel movie to be released next year.
Tatum last starred in Magic Mike’s Last Dance and has P Island with Zoe Kravitz and Project Artemis with Scarlett Johansson in the can.
Reynolds is repped by WME and Sloane Offer while Tatum is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson. The Nee brothers are repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment and Johnson Shapiro.
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