Margot Robbie to Star in, Produce Thriller 'Bad Monkeys'

Margot Robbie attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards - Getty - H 2016
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Robbie joins fellow producers Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark on the project.

Universal Pictures is hitching a ride on Margot Robbie's rising stardom.

In a move just weeks before the actress stars in Suicide Squad, Universal has optioned the rights to Bad Monkeys, a novel by Matt Ruff, to act as a Robbie vehicle.

She is attached to star and also will produce via her LuckyChap Entertainment banner. Also producing are Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber (Central Intelligence) and Dylan Clark (War of the Planet of the Apes).

Ruff’s 2008 novel centers on a woman named Jane Charlotte, who has been arrested for murder. She denies the charges, saying she is part of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil, Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons, aka Bad Monkeys.

This confession lands her in the jail’s psychiatric wing, where she is probed by professionals. The twisty story is meant to keep you guessing whether Jane is crazy, sane or a liar, with many things not as they seem.

LuckyChap’s Josey McNamara will serve as executive producer. Universal executive vp Jon Mone will oversee production on behalf of the studio, while Nicholas Nesbitt will oversee on behalf of Bluegrass.  

Robbie, currently onscreen as Jane in The Legend of Tarzan, also stars in Suicide Squad, which is tracking for one of the biggest debuts this summer ahead of its Aug. 5 opening. The actress plays DC villainess Harley Quinn, one of the most popular characters in the DC stable, and her portrayal has been creating buzz since last year.

Warner Bros. is so impressed with Robbie’s take on the character that it already is developing a spinoff movie, which she would also produce, marking her growing clout as she creates projects for herself. She is expected to show up at Saturday's Suicide Squad panel at Comic-Con.

Robbie is repped by Management 360, Aran Michael Management in Australia and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein. Ruff is repped by publishing agent Melanie Jackson Agency.