“I spent $5,000 at a strip club, send help,” Jennifer Lopez’s entrepreneurial Ramona laughs in the first Hustlers trailer. She’s teaching Destiny, played by Constance Wu of ABC‘s Fresh Off the Boat, how to rip off rich guys.
STX Films’ upcoming film, Hustlers, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, was inspired by Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine piece “The Hustlers at Scores.” The story followed a group of strippers who stole from the rich. The article focused on Roselyn Keo, who would have done well on Wall Street, but she was born with “the waist-to-hip ratio scientists have concluded affects men like a drug.”
Drugs also affect men like drugs, and the intoxicating talent at the New York City club was keen to share, even if they kept the details to themselves. The trailer shows how addictive getting dosed by erotic dancers can be. One cop notices one of the marks went back to the strip club three times after his credit card was maxed out while he was under the influence of these women.
These hustler dancers worked in a group, and the cast includes Julia Stiles (Dexter, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Business of Strangers), Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King, Big, Married to the Mob), Lizzo (2 Dope Queens), Stormi Maya (Netflix‘s She’s Gotta Have It), Keke Palmer (Scream Queens), Lili Reinhart (Riverdale), and hip-hop artist Cardi B in her film debut. Her song “Money” plays in the background of the trailer.
“The game is rigged and it does not reward people who play by the rules,” Ramona says in the trailer. Watch it here to see how far her scheme goes:
The film is set in the early 2000s, when bankers made out like bandits and club managers took 40 percent off the top of any bundle of cash the strippers made in tips.
Hustlers is scheduled to hit theaters on Sept. 13.
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Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.