Since it was officially confirmed in February, I've been impatiently awaiting the trailer for Hustlers, the movie starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu about a group of supreme scammers targeting the terrible Wall Street men who frequent their strip club. Tuesday night, J.Lo FaceTimed Jimmy Fallon to drop the first look trailer—and somehow, it exceeds all possible expectations.
With a dizzyingly starry cast—Cardi B! Lizzo! Keke Palmer! Lili Reinhart! Julia Stiles!—the movie is based on the true story of Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo (Ramona and Destiny in the movie, played by J.Lo and Constance Wu respectively), as told in the New York Magazine piece "The Hustlers at Scores." Barbash, Keo, and co. "stole from (mostly) rich, (usually) disgusting, (in their minds) pathetic men and gave to, well, themselves," according to journalist Jessica Pressler.
In the trailer, Destiny's ambitions begin modestly: "I just want to take care of my grandma, maybe go shopping every once in a while," she says. But Ramona makes a compelling argument for scamming the club's wealthy clientele: "These Wall Street guys—you see what they did to this country? They stole from everybody. Hardworking people lost everything! And not one of these douchebags went to jail."
"The game is rigged, and it does not reward people who play by the rules," Ramona says.
Writer and director Lorene Scafaria called the movie, released in September, "an empathetic look at women and men, our gender roles, what we’re valued for, what we’ve been told is our value in every movie, TV show, every corner of culture," as Variety reports. "Men have been told they’re worth the size of their bank accounts. Women have been told they’re worth the symmetry of their faces, their bodies, their beauty and that’s what this film is based on. The rules of the club are the rules of the world."
Every single cast member was carefully selected, the director told Vulture. "I chased Cardi for two years," she said. "I chased Lizzo for a year," she continued. “I met with Trace Lysette probably a year earlier, then wrote her a part. I knew I needed Keke Palmer so early on. I remember casting the Mercedes character and saying, 'It has to be Keke Palmer.' Jacqueline Francis, who goes by Jacq the Stripper on Instagram, was somebody I knew I wanted to write a part for as well. Mette Towley was someone I’d met with probably two years earlier."
And then, of course, there's J.Lo. "The moment I finished the script, I realized: Oh my God, Ramona is Jennifer Lopez," Scafaria said. "Casting was made infinitely easier once Jennifer was attached. Everybody really, really, really wanted to work with Jennifer." Me too, Lorene! May I please be considered for the sequel?
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for theMarie Claire newsletter.