Glen Powell, Anthony Mackie and Laura Dern to Star in John Lee Hancock’s Cancer Trial Drama ‘Monsanto’

Rocket Science and CAA Media Finance to launch sales in Cannes Glen Powell, Anthony Mackie and Academy Award winner Laura Dern have signed on to star in “Monsanto,” the latest film from writer-director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 21:31:35 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 21:31:35

Rocket Science and CAA Media Finance to launch sales in Cannes

Glen Powell, Anthony Mackie and Academy Award winner Laura Dern have signed on to star in “Monsanto,” the latest film from writer-director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks”).

The film follows the true story of young, untried attorney Brent Wisner (Powell), who in 2019 took on a seemingly insurmountable case against the giant U.S. chemical company Monsanto on behalf of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson (Mackie) who used the company’s best-known product Roundup, a wildly financially successful weed and grass pesticide killer, as part of his job as a high school groundskeeper. Dern plays Dr. Melinda Rogers, the Monsanto Company’s chief toxicologist, who testifies with certainty that Roundup is safe during the landmark cancer trial.

“I was drawn to this contemporary David vs. Goliath true story because I found it dramatic, moving, quite funny and of critical importance in today’s world,” said Hancock. “My ambitions are to deliver a smart, thoughtful and commercial legal drama that takes the audience on a human journey.”

The film’s script was developed in association with Karl Spoerri’s Zurich Avenue and written by Michael Wisner, Alexandra Duparc, Ned Benson and Hancock. The project is being produced by Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff, Philip Schulz-Deyle and Jon Levin alongside HyperObject Industries’ Adam McKay and Kevin Messick.

“These days stories about the “little guy” taking on huge institutions seem few and far between. Both in real life and on the big screen. So, when a story as riveting and inspiring as this one shows up on our desks we get excited. Why? Because people love and need these movies. They always have and always will,” said McKay, listing “Erin Brockovich,” “Silkwood,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Spotlight,” “12 Angry Men,” “Moneyball” and “Norma Rae” as prime examples. “I legitimately think I can list 200 wildly successful and beloved films about real people standing up against overwhelming odds with only fairness and truth on their side. So, let’s make number 201.”

Rocket Science will launch international sales on the film out of Cannes late -

r this month. CAA Media Finance is handling the domestic rights.

Powell’s career has been white-hot following the success of “Top Gun: Maverick” and the surprise hit rom-com “Anyone but You.” He’ll next be seen in Netflix’s “Hit Man,” which he co-wrote with Richard Linklater,” and Universal’s prospective summer blockbuster “Twisters.”

“I’ve always been fascinated by true stories of ordinary people against extraordinary odds,” Powell said of boarding this developing project. “This story encapsulates that spirit with a critical issue that affects us all. And it’s a privilege to bring it to audiences with an exceptional filmmaker and powerful cast.”

Dern, who reteams with Hancock after 1993’s “A Perfect World” and 2016’s “The Founder,” added: “I’ve loved my collaborations with John Lee and look forward to working with him again. There couldn’t be a more vital story to be a part of.”

The Oscar, Screen Actors Guild, Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning actor most recently executive produced and starred in “Palm Royale” for Apple TV+, and will next appear in “Lonely Planet” as well as Noah Baumbach’s latest film, both for Netflix.

Next up for Mackie, who stars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sam Wilson (formerly known as the Falcon), is his standalone movie “Captain America: Brave New World,” which is currently scheduled to hit theaters in February 2025. Most recently, Mackie starred in and executive produced Peacock’s hit action comedy “Twisted Metal,” which has been renewed for a second season.

Powell and Dern are represented by CAA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Dern is also repped by Untitled Entertainment and Latham & Watkins. Mackie is represented by UTA and Inspire Entertainment. Hancock is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang.

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