You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mandalay game for Murray pic

'Luck' based on winningest quizzer contestant

NEW YORK — Mandalay has offered a lifeline to the gameshow comedy “Press Your Luck” and is near a deal to put the film into production by year’s end with Bill Murray starring and Howard Franklin directing his own script.

Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films and Stanley Brooks’ Once Upon a Time Films are producing the pic.

Script is based on the true story of Michael Larsen, who, after becoming a victim of the corporate downsizing of the early 80s and losing his job as an ice cream truck driver in Lebanon, Ohio, got hooked on watching the daytime gameshow “Press Your Luck.” Eventually he learned that one could memorize the 1,300 patterns on a prize board that determine whether a contestant racked up a lot of money or was eliminated by drawing a “whammy.” Larsen got on the show and wound up becoming the top winning contestant of a daytime show, raking in more than $100,000 to the disbelief of the producers and host.

Project was originally bought and developed by Columbia from a pitch (Daily Variety, Feb. 28). Brooks and Cage will produce the film, with Scott Anderson and Norm Golightly exec producing. Despite the current gameshow fixation, Col put the film in turnaround and five suitors bid. Mandalay got the upper hand and will distribute through its output deal at Paramount.

Franklin, who previously directed Murray in “Quick Change,” is repped by APA’s David Saunders and managed by Industry Entertainment’s Rosalie Swedlin. Murray is repped by CAA.

More Film

  • Halloween

    Movies Featured More Female Protagonists in 2018, But It's Not All Good News (Study)

    “Halloween,” “A Star is Born,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made headlines for featuring strong roles for women, but even though the number of female film protagonists hit a high in 2018, the movie industry still offered its juiciest parts to men. At a time when Hollywood is under pressure to become more inclusive and is [...]

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content