It's amazing. You put a couple of Oscar winners together for a new film that already sounds like an award contender, and suddenly everybody wants to make it. Just last week Jennifer Lawrence was attached to the film about entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, to be directed by The Big Short's Adam McKay. As you can imagine, a bidding war broke out over the project, but that war has now been won by Legendary, so the film, titled Bad Blood, can move forward.
Bad Blood will follow the life of Elizabeth Holmes, the woman who founded the blood testing company Theranos. At one time the company was valued a $9 billion, but recently that value has collapsed following news that the company is under investigation for inaccurate testing procedures. This subject matter is so hot that, unlike Adam McKay's last film, which was based on a book, the package Legendary just purchased is actually the rights to a book proposal. That proposal is an idea from journalist John Carreyrou, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who covered Theranos for the Wall Street Journal. They couldn't even wait for the actual book to be written. McKay is on board to both write and direct Bad Blood.
While this subject matter doesn't sound like any laughing matter, we would have said the same thing about the financial collapse that led to the Great Recession, yet Adam McKay successfully turned that into a humorous movie, The Big Short, which got him an Oscar nomination for Best Director and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. While we have no idea if Bad Blood will take quite the same tone with its subject matter, we certainly won't be surprised, if we are in fact surprised, by what Bad Blood turns out to look like.
While the topics in The Big Short were a few years old, Bad Blood is as recent as right now. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this past April that they are seeking to ban Elizabeth Holmes from owning or operating a blood lab for a period of two years. It feels like the biggest problem the new film may have, is that its story may not be over by the time they need to have a finished script ready.
The role of Elizabeth Holmes feels like a strong departure for Jennifer Lawrence. Whether or not Holmes will be portrayed in the movie as a sympathetic character, it's highly unlikely that she'll be the "hero" of the story. As it stands, it doesn't look like the issues regarding Theranos are going to end positively. Seeing Lawrence play somebody who doesn't come out on top will be a nice change of pace.
Time will tell how this movie shakes out, but with a strong lead actress and a great writer and director behind the camera, this one certainly feels like the Oscar contender that Legendary certainly hopes it will be.