Here’s a hot one. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Evans (Captain America) are set to star in buzzy new movie package Project Artemis, we can reveal, with Ozark star, director and exec-producer Jason Bateman aboard to direct.
That’s not all. Fresh off its Best Picture Oscar win for Coda, Apple has swooped in on the in-demand package in a $100M+ deal. CAA cut the deal on behalf of the producers. This marks another massive purchase for the studio following a year that saw them pay more than $200M for both the Matthew Vaughn package Argyle and the untitled F1 racing pic starring Brad Pitt.
Plot details are being kept tightly under wraps but we hear the project is set against the space race. Screenplay comes from Rose Gilroy, daughter of writer-director Dan Gilroy and actress René Russo.
Two-time Oscar nominee Johansson will produce with Jonathan Lia and Keenan Flynn through their These Pictures production company, which commissioned and developed the script. Bateman will produce via his Aggregate Films banner.
Evans has since confirmed Deadline’s scoop on social media:
Evans and Johansson have been looking for projects to team up on following the end of their Avengers days and came close on Ghosted, another hot package that Apple scooped up. Johansson fell off after scheduling conflicts with Ana de Armas stepping in. That film is currently filming but everything works out in the end as the two A-listers and old friends get a second chance at teaming up again.
Apple and Johansson are also teaming up on Bride, which the actress is starring in and producing for Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio. That project is currently in development.
Apple, which on Sunday became the first streamer to win Best Picture, is on a roll. Potentially releasing this year are Martin Scorsese’s Killer’s Of The Flower Moon and Taron Egerton starrer Tetris. The company made waves a couple of years ago with the massive deal for Antoine Fuqua package Emancipation, which could also debut in 2022 (though the Will Smith Oscar drama may delay things).
Avengers, Marriage Story and Lost In Translation star Johansson is in post on Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. Captain America, Avengers and Knives Out star Evans is in post on Pixar’s Lightyear and the Russo’s The Gray Man.
Led by Bateman and Michael Costigan, Aggregate’s slate includes FX’s A Teacher; plus the upcoming FX limited series Under The Banner Of Heaven; Florida Man for Netflix; Lessons In Chemistry for Apple; and the Netflix feature Your Place Or Mine. Ozark launches its final seven episodes this April.
Johansson is represented by CAA and Yorn Levine. Evans is represented by CAA, 3Arts and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Bateman is represented by CAA, Lighthouse Management + Media, and Hansen Jacobson. Gilroy is represented by UTA, Mosaic, and attorney Howard Abramson.
Apple, CAA and reps declined to comment.