Toronto: Hugh Jackman Comedy 'Bad Education' Nabbed by HBO

Courtesy of TIFF
'Bad Education'

Directed by Cory Finley, the 'Election'-esque film chronicles an infamous school-larceny scandal that rocked Long Island in the early 2000s.

The Toronto International Film Festival ended on Sunday, but the biggest sale of the accompanying market has just closed.

HBO has landed worldwide rights to the black comedy Bad Education, a film that stars Hugh Jackman as real-life figure Frank Tassone, the charismatic Roslyn School District superintendent who became embroiled in an epic case of fraud. Allison Janney and Ray Romano also star.

Directed by Cory Finley, the Election-esque pic chronicles an infamous school-larceny scandal that rocked Long Island in the early 2000s. Mike Makowsky (I Think We're Alone Now) wrote the screenplay.

Bad Education made its world premiere on Sept. 8 at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto and received a raucous response.

A source pegged the deal at $20 million.

HBO plans to release the film in 2020 in time to qualify for next year's Emmys and give it a full awards campaign. The deal is reminiscent of HBO taking worldwide rights to the Laura Dern starrer The Tale, though that price tag was $7 million.

The Hollywood Reporter's review called Bad Education "engagingly devious" and said the pic "plays like a slow-burn investigative thriller with comic touches and a major comeuppance in the last act."

Fred Berger (La La Land) produced the film alongside Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Oren Moverman and Makowsky. Leonid Lebedev and Caroline Jaczko executive produced.

CAA and Endeavor Content negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.