Roslyn school scandal film bought by HBO

"Bad Education," starring Hugh Jackman as former Roslyn Schools superintendent Frank Tassone, has been bought for U.S. distribution by premium cable channel HBO. (Photo courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival)

“Bad Education,” the film based on the embezzlement scandal that plagued the Roslyn school district in the early 2000s, has been purchased for U.S. distribution by premium cable channel HBO for a reportedly record sum.

The film was bought after a series of screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered on Sunday, Sept. 8. Based on former Roslyn Superintendent Frank Tassone’s embezzlement of $11.7 million over the course of his 12-year term, the film stars “Logan” actor Hugh Jackman as Tassone, features Oscar winner Allison Janney as Assistant Superintendent and scandal bookmaker Pamela Gluckin, and was written and co-produced by Roslyn alumnus Mike Makowsky.

The trade paper Variety reports that “Bad Education” is being acquired for “just under $20 million,” making it the largest deal of the year for a Toronto International Film Festival premiere and one of the largest in the festival’s history.

The deal, brokered by CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content, means that the film, if broadcast without a theatrical release beforehand, would not compete for Academy Awards, as industry watchers originally supposed, but instead for Primetime Emmy Awards.

“Bad Education” received positive reviews in its festival debut, with Jackman as Tassone singled out for praise. The film currently holds an 85 percent “Fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

HBO has yet to announce a broadcast date for the film.

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