Hot Trailer: ‘Identity Thief’ With Jason Bateman And Melissa McCarthy

By | Tuesday December 18, 2012 @ 10:27am PST
Mike Fleming

Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for Identity Thief, the Seth Gordon-directed comedy that stars Jason Bateman as the victim of a woman who has swiped his identity and destroyed his credit. Somehow, his only way out is to apprehend the thief and accompany her on … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Bullock & McCarthy In ‘The Heat’

By | Friday November 16, 2012 @ 7:55pm PST

Think this will work? Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play mismatched officers of the law who are forced together as partners to go after a drug lord. The Heat is directed by BridesmaidsPaul Feig and written by Katie Dippold (Parks & Recreation). The 20th Century Fox … Read More »

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CBS Buys Ben Falcone/Larry Dorf Ensemble Comedy Produced By Melissa McCarthy

By | Thursday September 20, 2012 @ 5:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Melissa McCarthy and Ben FalconeEXCLUSIVE: Last season, a last-minute sale at CBS of a comedy co-written by Larry Dorf & Ben Falcone and produced by Melissa McCarthy resulted in a pilot, which was a serious contention for a … Read More »

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‘Mad TV’s Michael McDonald Joins Paul Feig’s ‘The Heat’

By | Wednesday August 1, 2012 @ 8:19am PDT
Mike Fleming

Michael McDonald, a standout performer for a decade on the Fox series Mad TV, has joined the cast of the 20th Century Fox Paul Feig-directed buddy comedy The Heat, which stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. He will play a … Read More »

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Demian Bichir Takes ‘The Heat’

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 4:26pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Demian Bichir has joined The Heat, the Paul Feig-directed comedy that stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It is the first studio comedy for Bichir, who was Oscar nominated … Read More »

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Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy Play Cop With Paul Feig

By | Saturday May 19, 2012 @ 11:52am PDT

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are going to be packing heat. The duo have signed up to do a cop buddy movie. Bridesmaids Paul Read More »

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OSCARS: Melissa McCarthy – ‘Bridesmaids’

By | Saturday February 18, 2012 @ 11:02am PST

It’s been quite a roll for Melissa McCarthy. This former Gilmore Girls best friend took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role in Mike & Molly, but it was her deft and hilarious portrayal of Megan, the Dockers-wearing, secret operative, sexually aggressive sister of the groom in Bridesmaids that propelled her to a household name — plus numerous critics kudos and an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actress. She spoke with AwardsLine contributor Cari Lynn about her breakthrough film role, written by Kristen Wiig (who also stars in Bridesmaids) and Annie Mumolo; about the friendships — and romance — that started at the LA-based sketch and improv comedy troupe the Groundlings; and about how she might react if she wins an Oscar.

AWARDSLINE: You got your start with The Groundlings, as did the co-writers and much of the cast of Bridesmaids. Were you at The Groundlings at the same time as Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo?
McCARTHY: Yes! They’re two of the greatest ladies I know, really, they’re remarkable. I want them to write 700 more things. I was in with Annie a little longer, and I only did one show with Kristen and then she went to SNL. I was also in [The Groundlings] with Wendi [McLendon-Covey] and Maya [Rudolph].

AWARDSLINE: You had so many scene-stealing lines in Bridesmaids. Do you know if that part was written with you in mind?
McCARTHY: It wasn’t, and they had seen quite a few people. Annie told me that they were about to get rid of the Megan character because it wasn’t working out. I came in and, luckily, they did not, because I loved it. Read More »

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CBS Picks Up Comedy Pilot Produced By Melissa McCarthy Starring Her Husband

By | Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

CBS has given a late pilot order to an untitled multi-camera comedy written by actors Larry Dorf and Ben Falcone and co-executive produced by Falcone’s wife, Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy. Falcone, originally not attached as an actor, will … Read More »

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CBS Buys Ben Falcone/Larry Dorf Comedy Spec Produced By Melissa McCarthy

By | Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 7:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In a last-minute buy, CBS has picked up a comedy spec produced by one of its stars, Mike & Molly leading lady Melissa McCarthy. The untitled comedy was written by McCarthy’s husband, actor-writer Ben Falcone and fellow actor Larry Dorf … Read More »

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Seth Gordon To Direct Melissa McCarthy And Jason Bateman In ‘Identity Theft’

By | Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 10:27am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Horrible Bosses helmer Seth Gordon is re-teaming with Jason Bateman On Identity Theft, the Universal comedy that will star Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The script was originated by Jerry Eeten, and then rewritten by Steve Conrad and then Craig … Read More »

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Melissa McCarthy Says ‘Bridesmaids’ Sequel Without Kristen Wiig Is “Terrible Idea”

By | Wednesday January 11, 2012 @ 11:17am PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Melissa McCarthy continued to deny that there is any plan at present to go ahead with a film sequel to the feature smash Bridesmaids without co-star and co-writer Kristen Wiig. Appearing in Pasadena … Read More »

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Beth McCarthy-Miller To Direct ‘Tammy’ With Melissa McCarthy

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 3:01pm PST
Mike Fleming

New Line has tapped Saturday Night Live vet Beth McCarthy-Miller to helm Tammy, the comedy set up last year as a star vehicle for Melissa McCarthy. The Emmy-winning Mike & Molly and Bridesmaids star wrote the script herself to play … Read More »

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Hammond: ‘Bridesmaids’ A Serious Oscar Contender? Universal Chiefs Say Yes

By | Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 4:53pm PST
Pete Hammond

If anyone were to have told you back on May 13 when Universal’s raunchy female comedy Bridesmaids opened that we would seriously be discussing its Best Picture Oscar nomination prospects a week before Christmas, the status of their mental health would been called into question. But even though it remains aRead More »

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Hammond: Supporting Actress Hopefuls Might Wish For Oscar Absence Of ‘The Help’

Pete Hammond

Could one movie dominate this year’s best supporting actress Oscar lineup? Certainly an argument could be made for any number of actresses in the ensemble hit, The Help and in fact two of them were nominated for Critics Choice … Read More »

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Boston Critics: ‘The Artist,’ Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt, Michelle Williams

By | Sunday December 11, 2011 @ 1:16pm PST

The Artist was the Boston Society of Film Critics’ choice for Best Picture. Brad Pitt was voted Best Actor for Moneyball and Michelle Williams was honored as Best Actress. In supporting categories, the hottest comedy actress at the moment, Melissa McCarthy, won for Bridesmaids and Albert Brooks took a prize … Read More »

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HAMMOND: ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Artist’, ‘Paris’ Try To Buck Oscar’s Prejudice Against Comedy; HFPA Says ‘The Help’ Is Not Funny

Pete Hammond

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. Someone said that, right?

Judging by the paltry number of “pure” comedies that have won Best Picture Oscars in the past, apparently the Academy doesn’t think it’s hard at all. But could this actually be the year comedy will once again get its due in the Best Picture race? Will we ever see another genuine laugher taken seriously? “It’s crazy when you see what these great comedy people do,” says Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow. His film was a huge surprise summer hit and has one of the highest critics ratings on Rotten Tomatoes with 90% fresh reviews. That’s a lot better than many dramatic contenders that pundits take more seriously as true Oscar pictures. Broad, hit-’em-in-the-gut comedy is almost always dismissed.

Apatow told me he was really surprised when Bridesmaids started to become part of the awards conversation this year but now believes they have a shot, at least in some categories — although not daring to dream of Best Picture yet. “We’re very hopeful about Melissa McCarthy in supporting. (Co-writer and star) Kristen Wiig  should get recognition  too. It’s very hard to do what she does,” Apatow said, adding that he thought Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover (which Apatow did not produce) should have been recognized a couple of years ago for the “perfect supporting part” but was obviously overlooked.

Further proving disrespect for comedy in the Acad, Apatow himself was dissed even to become an Academy member until finally getting the invite in 2008. Considering the Academy’s usual reluctance to reward the genre, Wiig is shocked they are even in the hunt, but Bridesmaids is the only movie Universal is significantly campaigning this year. “It’s nuts,” she said. “Recently we were looking at our original draft and thinking the fact people are even talking about it in this way is very strange. But I think ultimately it’s about the story and characters. You have to care about them or you’re not going to care about the movie whether it is comedy or drama.”

Bridesmaids is also hoping for recognition as a Best Picture Comedy or Musical nominee in the Golden Globes, where it actually does have a realistic chance of making the cut (The Hangover actually won). Many have called for the Academy to institute separate categories to honor comedy, like the Globes have always done, but it has never flown.

It is not hard to see why.

Often there’s a very gray line between what constitutes a comedy in the first place.  The Hollywood Foreign Press lets studios determine which categories they want to be in but has final say. In other words, if a studio tries to squeeze J. Edgar into comedy because there is less competition, forget it. This year, there has been lots of discussion among distributors about what constitutes a comedy. Fox Searchlight initially debated whether to enter its George Clooney starrer The Descendants in the Comedy or Musical category because there are definite laughs, but the dramatic elements ruled the day and it is submitted as a drama. Same with Sony’s Moneyball, which had some TV ads with quotes calling it “hilarious.” In the end, it wasn’t that hilarious — it’s in drama.

On the other hand, DreamWorks officially submitted The Help in comedy or musical even though it has some very heavy dramatic moments. On Monday, an HFPA committee rejected it in comedy and determined it would compete as a drama, where it will go head-to-head with Disney/DreamWorks’ other big hopeful, War Horse (assuming both get nominated, as seems likely). It’s not surprising: At a recent event I attended, a lot of HFPA members were voicing concerns about having to judge The Help as a comedy. The film was indeed initially sold by Disney and DreamWorks with an emphasis on its lighter elements, and past Globe winners in the category such as Driving Miss Daisy were similar in tone. Still, that would have meant Viola Davis would compete in the Best Actress-Comedy or Musical category, and no matter how you slice it, her character — a civil rights-era maid — just wasn’t that funny. Other entries that remain in the category that border comedy and drama are Focus Features’ Beginners and Summit’s 50/50, both dealing with main characters with cancer; Paramount’s Young Adult; and The Weinstein Company’s My Week With Marilyn. But the placement seems logical, and their chances against stiff competition in the drama categories would be considerably lessened. Last year, Focus entered the dramedy The Kids Are All Right in the comedy categories and bagged Globes for both the picture and Annette Bening. Read More »

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‘The Help’ Helmer Tate Taylor In Talks To Direct Melissa McCarthy In ‘Tammy’

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 5:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: There is a mad dash to get the next screen slot of Emmy-winning Mike & Molly and Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy. New Line is helping its chances by starting … Read More »

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Paul Feig Exits ‘Bridget Jones 3′; Universal Looking For Brit Director For January Start

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Working Title Films will need a new director for Bridget Jones 3, and I hear they want a Brit. Paul Feig has withdrawn after developing the most recent draft of the script with the intention to direct. I’m told that both sides agreed it didn’t work out and that maybe this is just a quintessential British comedy that needs a British sensibility. They will set a director soon as they are still slated to start production in January, with Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant all eager to return.

Feig has enough to keep him busy at Universal, where he just directed the sleeper hit Bridesmaids. He’s got two projects there including an untitled comedy that he’s writing to direct for producer Judd Apatow, with the hope that Jon Hamm will play a guy obsessed with a woman who’ll be played by Melissa McCarthy. That certainly puts much of the Bridesmaids team together, and it will have to do until the studio figures out a way to get moving on a Bridesmaids sequel after the first one grossed $286 million worldwide on a $32 million budget. Read More »

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Melissa McCarthy Delivers Strong Ratings For ‘Saturday Night Live’

By | Sunday October 2, 2011 @ 10:37am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

SNL: Melissa McCarthy Sing And Dances; Chris Rock Blacktacular On Broadway; Netflix Apologizes … And Apologizes …; Tyler Perry As Highest-Paid Entertainer

Melissa McCarthy’s hot streak continues as the new “It” girl helped Saturday Read More »

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