The buzzy “Hustlers” film loaded with star power is currently under production in New York City.
The flick is based on the true story of a group of Manhattan strippers and the Wall Street clients they entertain … and scam. The “Robin Hood”-style story of a group of women who stole from the wealthy in the wake of the financial crisis was first told in the form of a 2015 New York Magazine Article titled “The Hustlers at Scores.”
It’s set to be coproduced by the Bronx’s own Jennifer Lopez and written/directed by Lorene Scafaria (“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”), as first reported in Deadline.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this dynamic group of women,” Scafaria said in a statement to Variety. “We’re grateful to have assembled such a powerhouse cast.”
Here’s what we know about the project so far:
Who’s in this all-star cast?
Jennifer Lopez: One of the producers on the project, J. Lo is also set to appear in the film as Ramona, the leader of the group of women. When discussing her training for the role with Elle, Lopez said learning how to pole dance was "really difficult."
"We’d gotten down a little bit of a routine now and luckily I don’t have to do a whole bunch of it in the movie," she said. "It takes so much upper body strength and leg strength and core strength. And on top of it all, you’re spinning around, sometimes really fast. It’s a real skill."
In the film’s debut trailer, released on July 17, J. Lo is seen teaching the women how to dance and eventually organizing the heist.
Constance Wu: The actress who appeared in the leading role of the Golden Globe-nominated “Crazy Rich Asians” returns to the silver screen in the flick as Destiny, a stripper who works close to Ramona. Photos of Wu on set wearing leather pants and a fur coat surfaced March 22.
Cardi B: The Bronx rapper announced her film debut on Instagram writing, “to a theater near you." She’s set to play an ex-stripper. The 26-year-old has been extremely vocal of her past experience as a stripper at TriBeCa’s New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club.
Lili Reinhart: The 22-year-old “Riverdale” star joins Cardi B in the role of a former stripper who joins in on the heist.
Keke Palmer: Former Disney star and singer Keke Palmer has also been cast in the film. You may know her best as Gigi in Fox’s “Star,” or in the leading role of 2016’s “Akeelah and the Bee.”
Julia Stiles: New York City-born actress Julia Stiles confirmed she’ll appear in the film via Twitter on March 19.
Mercedes Ruehl: “Big” actress Mercedes Ruehl, a Jackson Heights native, has also been tapped for the project, Variety reports.
What’s the true story behind “Hustlers?”
New York Magazine’s 2015 print article “The Hustlers at Scores,” written by Jessica Pressler, tells the story of Roselyn Keo, a Rockland County native who took up employment at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in 2007, where she worked under the leadership of the more-established Samantha Foxx (Barbash).
Foxx’s clients — “mostly Wall Street guys” — became the target of a “Robin Hood”-style scam that involved drugging them and running up their credit card bills at various clubs (upward of $20,000, per client, per visit).
“The women “stole from (mostly) rich, (usually) disgusting, (in their minds) pathetic men and gave to, well, themselves,” the article reads. Word of the scam eventually spread to the New York City Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and led to their arrests in 2014. Foxx and the women who worked for her were charged with grand larceny, assault and forgery, and were sentenced to various jail stints and probation terms.
When will it be released?
The movie is on track for a Sept. 13 release. Filming on the project began March 22 in New York City.