The Guardian – Film is based on the life of Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a Pittsburgh massage parlour owner who used a male identity
Scarlett Johansson is to play a celebrated real-life massage-parlour owner, a woman who lived as a man, in new film Rub & Tug.
Deadline reports that Hollywood production outfit New Regency (previously involved with 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, and The Revenant) has picked up the project, which will see Johansson working again with Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders.
Rub & Tug is based on the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, a notorious figure in the Pittsburgh underworld in the late 70s and early 80s. Gill – born Lois Jean Gill – ran a number of mafia-protected massage parlours in the city, which were fronts for prostitution. Gill stood out for her adoption of male clothing and hairstyles, and her longterm relationship with Cynthia Bruno. Gill was eventually convicted of tax evasion in 1984, and spent seven years in prison. She died in 2003.
Among Rub & Tug’s producers is the prolific Joel Silver (Sherlock Holmes, The Nice Guys, The Matrix trilogy) and filming is due to begin in February 2019.