When three of the most popular female artists are in the same movie together, you’d expect it to be something of a musical. But that’s not Hustlers. Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo and Cardi B may all star together in the “based on a true story” stripper heist, but their acting and seductive pole-dancing numbers remain the focus. That said, there were talks of the trio collaborating on a track together for the movie, according to Hustler’s music supervisor, Jason Markey. In his words:
At one point, there was some conversation from the producers’ standpoint: ‘Should we do a big end-title song, like a ‘Lady Marmalade’ thing?’ I was the first person to stand up and go, ‘I think that’s cheesy!’
Cheesy? Maybe… but it also would have been amazing! A song featuring the likes of J-Lo, Lizzo and Cardi B would have no doubt been a fire track and a huge pop hit! However, it also might have taken away from Hustlers itself – separating audiences from the characters the actresses are playing for the movie. The crime drama was trying to emulate a gritty Martin Scorsese film over a campy Showgirls feel. Markey continued to Variety:
I said to Lorene [Scafaria] in sort of a private jest, ‘Honestly, I really don’t believe in having a Jennifer-Cardi B-Lizzo song in this movie — I just think we could do much better than that.’ And not in a bad way in relation to their artistry, but we can end with a more poignant option, as opposed to this big pop number. And she agreed with me. So we stood our ground — and won the battle.
There you have it! The Hustler filmmakers decided to stick to their vision for the film – which included a pass on a massive pop track for Hustlers in the vein of Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, P!nk and Mýa's 2014 hit “Bang, Bang,” or the recent release “Don’t Call Me Angel” for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot that brought together Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus.
Although Hustlers didn’t bring together these famous ladies for a music collab, it gives them the space to show off their acting chops – for the first time for Lizzo and Cardi B (who was once a stripper herself). Jennifer Lopez has been praised especially for her performance, with some calling it her best since 1998’s Out of Sight.
Hustlers has seen success so far, with buzzy beginnings at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere earlier this month and a solid $33 million opening weekend. The female-led crime story didn’t pass It Chapter Two’s box office dominance in its second weekend, but exceeded tracking expectations for indie studio STXFilms.
The movie, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, is based on a viral New York Magazine article about strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients during the recession. It stars Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles and Lili Reinhart.
Check out Hustlers in theaters now.