So far Melissa McCarthy has seen her biggest big screen successes, both critically and commercially, come from her collaborations with director Paul Feig. It was his use of her in Bridesmaids that really broke her as a comedic actress, and it was her recent pairing with Sandra Bullock in The Heat that gave her a starring role that didn’t get torn apart by critics. The partnership has worked out pretty well for Feig too. He used to be known primarily as a television director, but now that his latest two features have both proven to be profitable, he finds himself settling into what’s likely to be a more lucrative gig as the director of big studio comedies. So it just makes sense that the two should keep working together.
According to a report from The Wrap, their next collaboration is likely to come in the form of a spy comedy called Susan Cooper, which Feig has written the screenplay for and is looking to make his next project as a director. Their sources say that, while nothing is yet official, McCarthy is currently in talks to become the central figure of what the studio hopes will be a franchise-launcher.
The basic idea of making a movie about a female spy seems to have come from a combination of Feig’s appreciation of the way the James Bond franchise was recently relaunched with Casino Royale, and his general mandate over at Fox, which is to develop female-driven properties designed to draw in the same audience that came out in droves to see Bridesmaids. Early word says that Susan Cooper is going to be similar in tone to The Heat, which was broadly comedic, but still took place in a universe that was fairly realist.
Due to her Mike and Molly schedule, McCarthy isn’t yet a lock to be the one who takes this role, but one has to imagine that it was likely conceived with her in mind, and that Feig and the studio will be willing to shuffle around as much as possible in order to get her on board. What other actresses out there other than McCarthy have both the comic chops and the flair for physicality necessary to pull something like this off, after all? That lady is something of a find.