Hugh Jackman’s ‘Bad Education’ Acquired by HBO

Toronto 2019: Embezzlement drama also stars Allison Janney and Ray Romano

Bad Education Hugh Jackman
Courtesy of TIFF

HBO has acquired the worldwide rights to Hugh Jackman’s “Bad Education” out of the Toronto International Film Festival and is planning a 2020 release for it, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

“Bad Education” is about the biggest public school embezzlement scandal in American history. It also stars Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Alex Wolff and Geraldine Viswanathan, and was directed by Cory Finley (“Thoroughbreds”) based on a true story that happened to screenwriter Mike Makowsky (“I Think We’re Alone Now”).

HBO beat out several theatrical distributors in a competitive situation and will be planning an awards push for it in 2020.

Jackman and Janney star in the film as a school superintendent and his assistant who are tasked with bringing their school district in Long Island prestige until a plucky young student digs into their expense reports and uncovers an elaborate embezzlement scheme. It forces Jackman’s character to stage a massive cover-up and try and keep his composure.

Makowsky based the screenplay on the New York Magazine article “The Bad Superintendent” by Robert Kolker, as well as based on his own experience growing up in Roslyn, Long Island.

“Bad Education” is produced by Fred Berger, Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Oren Moverman and Makowsky. “Bad Education” is a production of Automatik and Sight Unseen. The film’s executive producers are Leonid Lebedev and Caroline Jaczko.

CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content brokered the deal for “Bad Education.”

Deadline first reported the news of the deal.