There’s a Sue Mengers biopic in the works starring Jennifer Lawrence
By Tatiana Tenreyro
Mon, August 9, 2021
Mister D Pontificates:
When I first saw this my reaction was of horror, well, not horror, but anger! Why not use Bette Midler. She’s the one that brought the superagent, Sue Menger’s to life. So once again I thought Hollywood got it so wrong like so many time before, especially when it comes to Ms. Midler. After The Rose, they pretty much dropped the ball when it came to truly tapping into the depths of Bette’s talents. Yes, she had some good movies and some real duds, but to paraphrase Bette in an interview, and it always happened to be true, she said “But I’m better than the movie!” When I found out the movie was to be more than a monologue, well I thought different. I could actually envision Jennifer Lawrence as Sue Mengers. Even her voice seems to fit. And last but not least she’s a Bette Midler fan. I still wish there was some kind of indie production or a PBS film of Bette’s performance in the Broadway hit, I’ll Eat You Last.
Unless you work in Hollywood or based your career around writing about the film industry, you likely have no clue who Sue Mengers is: She was the first woman to become massively successful as an agent in the film industry, working with names like Barbra Streisand, Cher, Brian De Palma, Steve McQueen, Gore Vidal, and other major celebrities and filmmakers. Because Hollywood loves making biopics, there’s a Menger biopic in the works, starring Jennifer Lawrence.
The film is set to be directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, with a script written by Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo, and John Logan. The script is in good hands since Logan also wrote the one-woman Broadway play I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler as the legendary agent. Variety reports that there’s currently a bidding war for it, with Apple and Netflix trying their luck to get it. Bidding reportedly reached up to $95 million, so that’s great news for Lawrence, who hasn’t been in a major film since the box office failure X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Playing the caftan-loving agent will likely give Lawrence her next Oscar nomination since 2015’s Joy (another very niche biopic), but the big question is who would actually be interested in watching such an insider-y film besides those who know of Mengers’ legacy. It’s also unclear what the focus of the biopic would be. It could steer into “#girlboss” territory, showing how Mengers went from being a receptionist at MCA to becoming one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood, but as Oscar-bait-y as that may sound, it’s not what people truly care about when it comes to Mengers’ story. They want the behind-the-scenes drama! We would be more inclined to watch a biopic about how Mengers turned Streisand into a movie star, only to be betrayed by Streisand who dumped her as her agent, causing the downfall of Mengers’ career.