Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin is going from her three-season run on the espionage drama to tangling with spies on the big screen. She’s been cast in Fox’s female comedy Spy, writer-director Paul Feig‘s next pic with Bridesmaids and The Heat star Melissa McCarthy. Baccarin, who last year was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Showtime’s Homeland, will play Karen Walker in the pic which has been slated for a Memorial Day 2015 release. Feig is also producing for his Feigco Entertainment banner alongside Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, and Jessie Henderson. Last week he added international stars Nargis Fakhri, Peter Serafinowicz, Bjorn Gustafsson, and Verka Serduchka to the cast, which also includes Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Miranda Hart. Filming began last month in Budapest.
Related: Allison Janney Joins Powerhouse Cast Of Paul Feig’s ‘Spy’
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EXCLUSIVE: It’s not White House Chief of Staff, but Allison Janney is back in government work with the Paul Feig-directed feature Spy. The Emmy-winning former West Wing actress will play top CIA agent Elaine Crocker in the comedy. Playing to the actress’ vast strengths, the character is described as tough but with a biting sense of humor. Janney joins a star-studded cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Miranda Hart. Showtime alum Morena Baccarin also joined the pic today. Spy started production in Budapest late last month. Fox is set to release it Memorial Day 2015. As well as directing, Feig wrote the script and is producing through his Feigco along with Chernin Entertainment and Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Jessie Henderson.
Related: Paul Feig Taps Offshore Talent For Melissa McCarthy ‘Spy’ Tale
The Spy role is far different from the recovering alcoholic, who’s also a mother, that Janney plays on CBS’ freshman Chuck Lorre comedy Mom, with Anna Faris. The actress, who also has a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, next will be seen on the big screen on July 2 in New Line’s Tammy, with McCarthy and Susan Sarandon. Janney is repped by Gersh and Thruline.
EXCLUSIVE: An international spy comedy needs some offshore talent, and director Paul Feig has found his for Spy, the comedy that stars Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson and Miranda Hart. Feig has added Bollywood star Nargis Fakhri, British comic actor Peter Serafinowicz and Swedish comedian Bjorn Gustafsson. “There are so many actors worldwide that I’ve been dying to work with and Nargis, Peter and Bjorn have always been at the top of my list,” Feig said. “Peter and Bjorn are comic geniuses and Nargis is cool, funny and drop-dead gorgeous, which ironically are three adjectives that have been used to describe me. So, I feel a special kinship with her.”
Feig also added Verka Serduchka, the transgender Ukrainian pop star famous for coming in second place in the Eurovision song competition in 2007. She and her dancers are going to re-create that performance in this movie. Russian chief Vladimir Putin recently wouldn’t let them into Russia to perform because of their anti-gay laws, so maybe they’ll see the performance in the movie. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Feig has a knack for finding gem comediennes and he thinks he has got one in Miranda Hart. The British veteran has been set to join Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham in the untitled spy comedy that Feig is directing for Chernin Entertainment and Fox. Filming starts in Budapest on Monday and the film has been dated for Memorial Day weekend 2015·
The comedy marks the third collaboration for Feig and McCarthy, and he wrote the script, directs and produces through his Feigco Entertainment with Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Jessie Henderson. ”I’ve been a fan of Miranda’s for years and am so excited to bring her to the big screen,” Feig said. “I’m also hoping I’ll finally get back that lawnmower I loaned her last summer.” Read More »
Paul Feig is producing Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ attempt at the first big-screen CGI version of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic (UPDATE: Readers were correct to point out there have been other Peanuts features). From this first look that dropped today it’s clear this take won’t offer many of those hard-R moments like the ones found in some of Feig’s recent fare like Bridesmaids or The Heat. But he’s a big fan of the comic — saying Peanuts was “my Star Wars” and that Charlie Brown and Snoopy helped inform his cult TV hit Freaks And Geeks. Steve Martino is directing the pic from a script by Craig Schulz and Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. A November 6, 2015 release date has been set. Is this what you expected?
EXCLUSIVE: Bridesmaids and The Heat helmer Paul Feig is attached to produce and possibly direct an untitled pitch that Melissa Stack will write for Fox. She wrote The Other Woman, the Nick Cassavetes-directed pic that is in post at Fox, with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann starring. They are keeping the logline to themselves, but it’s an original idea hatched by Feig and a vehicle for a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses. Feig and Jessie Henderson are producing under the Feigco banner that formed at Fox to make R-rated comedies.
“I’m always looking for an excuse to gather a bunch of funny women together, and Melissa’s amazing take on this idea really made me laugh,” said Feig. “I’m thrilled to be working with her and excited to really nail our Paso Doble on Dancing With The Stars.” Feig next reunites with Melissa McCarthy in Susan Cooper, a secret agent comedy that also stars Jason Statham and Rose Byrne. Feig’s repped by CAA, Stack by Paradigm and Kaplan/Perrone.
EXCLUSIVE: The Heat team of Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Paul Feig are developing a spinoff of last summer’s hit, creating a comic vehicle that will focus on the characters played by Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin. That Feig-directed and Katie Dippold-scripted film, which starred Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, grossed $230 million worldwide.
Denbo and Chaffin played Beth and Gina, who were part of McCarthy’s cop character’s extended family. That’s the clan that sat around a kitchen table and grilled Bullock’s character on subjects including whether she was a man and if so how was she able to get such a close shave, or whether she was a narc (they pronounced it nahhc, in that truly charming/excruciating Beantown parlance). Tricia McAlpin is writing the script. Feigco’s Feig and Jessie Henderson are producing with Chernin Entertainment. They are all working out the storyline, and sparked to the potential of a vehicle for the comic duo. This by no means precludes the possibility of a sequel to The Heat, which was successful and funny enough to justify an encore. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: While Paul Feig made his first-look producing deal at Fox primarily to generate R-rated comedies like The Heat, that doesn’t mean he can’t work clean and for a family crowd. Feig has just been set to produce and oversee 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ Peanuts animated feature based on the late Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip creation.
Fox has set a November 6, 2015, release date for the film that is being directed by Steve Martino, whose credits include Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift. The script was written by Craig Schulz and the writing team of Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, and Uliano are producing with Feig. It’s the first animated feature for Feig, who started with the cult fave series Freaks And Geeks and has really hit his stride directing Bridesmaids and The Heat and next will helm for Fox Susan Cooper, the spy comedy that will star Melissa McCarthy and likely Jason Statham. The Peanuts gig is the realization of a dream for Feig. Read More »
“It is a decades-long trend,” actress Geena Davis, who founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, said at a luncheon panel on the subject. “We want to believe that things are getting better. But the evidence shows that it’s not.” The conventional wisdom is that “women will watch men but men won’t watch women…It’s not true.” Director Paul Feig said that he faced “enormous” pressure to have his film Bridesmaids succeed. Casting women in lead roles “was always shut down so quickly. ‘We can’t have a woman as a lead.’ It was almost a rule…I was terrified.” Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson says the problem is exacerbated by popular culture. She cited a reader survey by the blog SFGate that deemed Anne Hathaway as the year’s “Most Annoying Celebrity” to illustrate that misogyny is “a sport in the media.” She adds that women have been shortchanged by “franchise fever” which has “squeezed out the variety of movies that are made” and by efforts to reach boys with PG movies. The trends are bad for business says Regal Cinemas CEO … Read More »
Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment has tapped Jessie Henderson to be the company’s executive vice president. Henderson, who leaves Chernin Entertainment to take this job, will be in charge of finding and developing new projects for the company to produce as well as shepherding the ones generated internally. Feigco Entertainment has a first look deal at Fox to fine commercial and edgy R rated comedies in the spirit of his hit Bridesmaids. His latest, The Heat, opens in June.
Feig also recently set with Chernin Entertainment a mother daughter comedy to be scripted by The Heat writer Katie Dippold, so between The Heat and that film, there’s been a lot of co-mingling with the Chernin folks. Feig also promoted Joshua Thurston.
EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment and Fox are so convinced they have a hit in the Paul Feig-directed comedy The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock that they moved the picture right into the heat of the July 4th holiday corridor. Now, Chernin Entertainment has closed a low-7-figure deal with that film’s writer, Katie Dippold, for another comedy that she will write as a directing vehicle for Feig. I’ve heard it described as a mother/daughter action comedy, but all parties are keeping the logline under wraps beyond that.
Dippold makes her feature debut as a screenwriter on The Heat, which stars McCarthy and Bullock as mismatched crime fighters in an unabashedly R-rated comedy. This new deal will be her second project. Where did she come from? Dippold was a writer and co-producer of the NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation, and before that she was a writer on MAD TV and other shows.
This is a neat fit for Fox, which finances Chernin-produced films, and also has a first look deal with Feig, the Bridesmaids helmer who’ll also produce this project.
Dippold is repped by WME and 3 Arts; Feig by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.
EXCLUSIVE: In the first overall filmmaker deal that 20th Century Fox Film has made since Jim Gianopulos became a solo act as Chairman/CEO, the studio has signed Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig to produce and direct films under his Feigco Entertainment banner. What Gianopulos and production president Emma Watts want from Feig is to get the studio squarely in the R-rated comedy business, a genre that continues to flourish in the marketplace.
Feig has given what the studio considers a strong R-rated laffer in The Heat. Releasing in April, the raucous comedy stars Sandra Bullock as an uptight FBI agent and Bridesmaids scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy as a foul-mouthed Boston cop. They team to take down a drug lord. Feig directed the female buddy cop film, and produced along with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin.
The goal is to take advantage of a burgeoning audience that has made Todd Phillips’ The Hangover series a global juggernaut and established the Seth MacFarlane-directed Ted as the top-grossing R-rated comedy ever in the international marketplace. MacFarlane, through Family Guy, is a Fox fixture, and while he made his feature directing debut for MRC and Universal, it’s clear that things are changing at Fox and that keeping strong directors in the fold is a big priority. Feig, who created the Emmy-winning cult fave series Freaks And Geeks, will generate comedies with established … Read More »
This one provides a little more graphic look at Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as reluctant partners in The Heat, written by Katie Dippold (Parks And Recreation) and directed by Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig:
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 villain. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark are producing. This comes after McDonald signed a new blind script deal to develop a one hour show with ABC Studios. After his Mad TV run, McDonald has been working behind the scenes, creating and exec producing the hourlong drama spec script pilot Beautiful People for NBC last season. McDonald worked as a director, co-executive producer and writer on ABC’s Cougar Town and will continue directing episodes of the show this season after it moved to TBS. He will also helm episodes of the new ABC sitcoms Family Tools and How To Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life. He’s repped by UTA.
EXCLUSIVE: Leaping from YouTube to the big screen, Spoken Reasons has been added to the cast of The Heat. The online comedy star joins Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the Paul Feig-directed film. Specifics are sketchy but Reasons will play a lead character called “Terrell Rojas.” The Fox distributed cop buddy movie, where Bullock’s FBI agent and McCarthy’s Boston cop team up against the Russian mob, starts filming next month. The Heat is the feature film debut for the 23-year old Spoken Reasons, whose real name is John Baker. However it is far from his first time in front of the camera. Producing, directing, writing and starring in skits and music videos on his own YouTube channel, Spoken Reasons has garnered more than 125 million views online. He has more than 1 million subscribers. A recent collaboration with producer Brian Robbins’ new YouTube-financed channel AwesomenessTV helped put Reasons in front of Feig, who quickly cast him in The Heat, Deadline has learned. Feig is executive producing The Heat. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark will produce. Spoken Reasons is repped by UTA and managed by Steve Rifkind.
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are going to be packing heat. The duo have signed up to do a cop buddy movie. Bridesmaids Paul Feig will direct the as yet untitled project. Katie Dippold of Parks and Recreation acclaim is writing the screenplay. The movie details the strained working relationship between an uptight FBI agent, played by Oscar winner Bullock, and an unconventional Boston cop, played by Oscar nominee McCarthy. The movie is bit of a reunion for Feig and McCarthy, who worked together on 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids. Feig will executive produce. Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Dylan Clark will produce the Fox distributed film. Dippold is repped by WME and 3 Arts. Feig, McCarthy and Bullock are all repped by CAA.
Paul Feig, who directed Bridesmaids and hatched the series Freaks And Geeks, has gotten the go-ahead from Sky Atlantic HD for Ronna & Beverly, a six part mock talk show featuring two fifty-something Jewish American mothers who ask blunt questions of real guests and offer advice those guests probably don’t need. They filmed a pilot episode with Mad Men star Jon Hamm and Episodes star Stephen Mangan among the first guests. The hostesses are played by American writers and performers Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo who got the series after a series of critically acclaimed stage shows in the UK and the US. Feig’s US-based Classy Productions is producing with Hat Trick Productions in the UK. Chaffin and Denbo have been on Feig’s radar for several years. They first tried a pilot for Showtime, but it didn’t get picked up. “British audiences responded to these overbearing American characters, and the show is Ab Fab meets everyone’s obnoxious parents who ask horrifying questions,” Feig told me. Part of the reason he was in the UK was his work in rewriting Bridget Jones‘s Baby, which he was going to direct until he came to a parting of the ways with the principals. “There were a lot of moving pieces and varying opinions that sadly proved impossible to navigate around,” said Feig, who wasn’t sure the movie would happen. He’s firming up plans for his next feature comedy. And while Kristen Wiig has said … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Elizabeth Sarnoff will shift to features to re-write the film version of Garlic And Sapphires, which Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is attached to direct. Cary Brokaw (The Resident) will produce for Fox 2000. Based on Ruth Reichl’s New York Times best-selling book, Sapphires recounts the “adventures in deception” as the NY Times’ restaurant critic goes undercover to the world’s finest culinary establishments. To go unrecognized, she assumes the persona of a nouveau riche widow. Sarnoff will re-write the script from an earlier version. She most recently co-created the JJ Abrams series Alcatraz and was an executive producer on Lost for five seasons. She also worked on shows including Deadwood and NYPD Blue. She is repped by WME.