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Scarlett Johansson, Rupert Sanders Reteam for Massage Parlor Drama ‘Rub & Tug’

New Regency has won an auction for “Rub & Tug,” an “American Hustle”-like movie starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Rupert Sanders, sources confirmed to Variety.

Based on a true story, the film will focus on Dante “Tex” Gill (Johansson) who flourished in the male-dominated business of massage parlors and prostitution.

Gary Spinelli wrote the script and the movie will be produced by Joel Silver, Tobey Maguire, Johansson, Matthew Plouffe, Spinelli, and Jonathan Lia. Silver Pictures president Hal Sadoff will executive produce with Ethan Erwin, Sarah Meyer, Richard Weinberg, and Brendan Koerner. The film is a co-production between Silver Pictures, Maguire’s Material Pictures, and Johansson’s These Pictures.

The spec had been making the rounds over the past year with talent like Jennifer Lawrence, Paul Greengrass, and David O. Russell all circling it before Johansson and Sanders eventually signed on.

The package marks a reteam for the two, who worked together on the Paramount actioner “Ghost in the Shell.”

CAA Media Finance ran the auction and brokered the deal. CAA also reps Johansson and Sanders, with Management 360 also repping the director.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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