Jennifer Lopez’s stripper movie Hustlers has been earning a lot of buzz after its appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. While the movie is getting a good kick off, it wasn’t the easiest flick to get made. In fact, in a recent interview, Jennifer Lopez discussed how it’s hard to get movies with a stacked female cast made.
When writer Loren Scafaria was talking about how difficult it is for a movie to get made when it’s about women doing “questionable things,” Jennifer Lopez interjected that she feels it’s hard to get a movie made if it’s “about women – period.” She followed up, noting,
I do. And when you have women characters at the front of it, it’s a whole another battle. And you go, ‘Yeah it’s all starring women. There’s really no male characters in it.'
Speaking to Variety at TIFF 2019, the women involved in the making of the movie spoke out in detail about the trials and tribulations involved in bringing Hustlers to the big screen. Lorene Scafaria spoke out about how the pitching process was tough for the stripper-oriented flick, but for Lopez it seems like it has less to do with the stripping and more to do with the female-led premise.
We know Hustlers has a stacked cast. Jennifer Lopez stars as a veteran stripper who, along with Constance Wu’s Destiny, figures out a scheme to rob wealthy men. Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart and Lizzo round out the cast. Oh, and Usher’s in the movie, playing himself, so there are a few dudes who will show up. STX Films ultimately signed on for the release and will be bringing it to theaters.
Lorene Scafaria went on to back Jennifer Lopez up, noting that the only female-led Oscar Best Picture winner in the past 20 years has been Chicago. Although, it's worth pointing out there have been more female-fronted films getting made (particularly female-fronted films that aren't straight rom-coms) than there were years and decades ago. Even more intriguing is the study that came out a few months ago noting that female-led movies have been outperforming male movies at the box office relative to their budget. More on that here.
Still, a stripper movie about a criminal scheme gone wrong? I can see how that's not the easiest pitch to explain in a roomful of suits. Then again, Jennifer Lopez has also been in this business for a long time, and I think many of us still mainly identify her for her big screen work in rom-coms or as a romantic sidekick. Obviously, she has done plenty of other projects, including the recent series Shades of Blue, but the industry definitely looks different than it did when she was really just getting her acting career off the ground. So, perhaps the notion that female movies don't sell is changing.
Ultimately, whether or not Hustlers was difficult to get made, it did get made. Now, the next hurdle will be selling the movie to an audience. Early estimates indicate the movie could make around $24 million opening weekend, so If you are interesting in strippers laying a fast one on some rich dudes, Hustlers will officially hit theaters on Friday, September 13. You can take a look at what else is out in September with CinemaBlend's full movie release schedule.