In a record-breaking sale, said to be one of the biggest ever festival acquisitions, HBO has acquired the global rights to Cory Finley’s (Thoroughbreds) critically-acclaimed sophomore feature Bad Education, starring Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables), Academy Award winner Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Golden Globe nominee Ray Romano (The Big Sick, The Irishman), Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers) and Alex Wolff (Hereditary).
The film was produced by Automatik and Sight Unseen. Fred Berger, Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Oren Moverman, and Mike Makowsky are the producers. The executive producers are Leonid Lebedev and Caroline Jaczko.
Bad Education made its World Premiere as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film earned rave reviews.
In a highly competitive situation, HBO beat out a number of theatrical distributors and is planning a 2020 release. The WarnerMedia-owned company will air the feature globally where it has networks and streaming services and is planning an awards push in 2020.
Inspired by true events, Bad Education follows Frank Tassone (Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Janney) who reign over a popular Long Island school district on the verge of the nation’s top spot, spurring record college admissions and soaring property values. But when an embezzlement scheme surfaces that threatens to destroy all they’ve built, Frank is forced to maintain order and secrecy — by whatever means necessary.
Bad Education is written by Mike Makowsky (I Think We’re Alone Now), who grew up in Roslyn, Long Island during the scandal and drew from the New York Magazine long read article The Bad Superintendent by Robert Kolker.