Jennifer Lopez’s forthcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me” is leaving STX Entertainment go to Universal Pictures, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
STX originally picked up the project, which is also set to star Owen Wilson, in April. The film was supposed to be the third collaboration between the studio and Lopez, following last year’s “Second Act” and the upcoming stripper revenge flick “Hustlers,” which is slated to hit theaters in September.
A representative for STX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said in April that the studio was looking forward to continuing its relationship with Lopez.
The film is based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby and centers around a pop superstar (Lopez) who, moments before marrying her rock star fiancé at Madison Square Garden, finds out that he was cheating with her assistant. Lopez’s character spontaneously melts down on stage and picks a random math teacher out of the crowd to marry instead.
What starts as a goof ends up becoming an exploration of relationships, expectations and destiny. STX had described the rom-com as “Notting Hill” meets “The Proposal.”
“Marry Me” was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Kat Coiro (“A Case of You,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) has signed on to direct.
TheWrap previously reported that STX Entertainment could be looking to merge, raise capital or find a buyer following its recent string of box office disappointments and the scuttling of a planned IPO last fall.
“We are fortunate to have the resources, strategic vision and support of our Board and financial partners as we raise additional capital to finance potential acquisitions and other opportunities to significantly expand the company’s capabilities,” STX chief financial officer Andy Warren told TheWrap at the time. “It’s unfortunate that those who are unaware of our actual plans would be trying so hard to dismiss them.”
Last week, STX pushed the release date of its Dave Bautista-led action-comedy “My Spy” to 2020 from its initial Aug. 23, 2019 release date.
The studio raised $100 million in March from its existing investors, but multiple individuals said STX has burned through that cash even while seeking to reduce expenses, including shifting two top executives to consulting roles in the last two months: former Chief Content Officer Oren Aviv and Chief Operating Officer Thomas McGrath.
STX’s most recent release, “Poms,” grossed $13.6 million at the box office in May in a distribution deal with producer eOne. And another spring release, “Best of Enemies” starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, took in just $10.2 million on a $10 million production budget.
Perhaps the most painful misstep came with the May release of star-studded animated feature “UglyDolls,” which cost roughly $95 million between production and marketing spend and brand tie-ins and brought in only $26.4 million worldwide.
Looking ahead, STX still has another toy-based animated film in “Playmobil: The Movie,” a star-studded strippers-get-savvy comedy called “Hustlers” and the anticipated Chadwick Boseman cop drama “21 Bridges.”
Beatrice Verhoeven contributed to this report.