Melissa McCarthy

What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t have time to explain it to you, yo. We just gotta get out of here, Mr. White! We begin this evening with the first image from the upcoming fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, courtesy of AMC. And guess what? It’s a shot of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) standing in a field looking less than pleased with their surroundings. Even though it’s a shot we’ve seen a million times in four seasons, it never ceases to be interesting. 

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Rapper T.I. Joins Identity Theft

Director Seth Gordon‘s latest comedic venture already has some great talent attached to it – Melissa McCarthy will star in the film, Identity Theft, in a role tailor-made for her: as a character who steals Jason Bateman‘s identity. But as amusing as it might be to just see those two duke it out for ninety minutes, every film needs supporting characters, and Gordon has just lined up an unexpected pick for one of those roles. Did you know that rapper T.I. (he of such notable hits as “Bring Em Out,” “Big Shit Poppin’ (Do It),” “Sleazy Remix 2.0: Get Sleazier,” “Murda Bizness,” and “Swing Ya Rag”) also acts? He does! Apparently he’s looking to diversify his portfolio after getting out of jail for those federal weapons charges! Yay! T.I. will reportedly play a bounty hunter in the film, one who hunts both McCarthy and Bateman after Bateman’s character “becomes an unlikely companion” to McCarthy (um, post-identity theft).

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Baking Bread

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that’s coming off of a really great weekend. Live-blogging the Oscars with no pants on is the best decision it has made in a long time. Well, since last February, at the very least. Because last week was such a serious week — what with the Oscars and all — we begin this week with abject silliness and two gritty dudes Baking Bread. This would make an excellent spin-off of Breaking Bad, but only if the bread was baked with some sort of intoxicant that allowed Jesse and Walter to dive deep into the dangerous world of narcotic baked goods. Quick, someone fuel up the RV and the Easy Bake Oven!

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Oscar 2012 Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

The other night I got into an almost knock-down fight with a colleague while we shared the stage on a Oscar panel over who we thought would win Best Supporting Actress this year. It’s not that we didn’t both agree Octavia Spencer had the best chance of winning, nor that she didn’t deserve the nomination, but we bickered over the fact that this year’s female performances were just so marvelous considering how utterly boring the Academy-backed films ended up being. There is no denying the fact, this year’s “Oscar worthy” films (yes, I want you to read that with air quotes and everything) were easily some of the most tired, bland, and kitschy offerings we’ve seen this side of Shakespeare in Love. But the one thing that is honestly saving this small group of voters from a strongly worded letter from my most prized stationary is the appreciation bestowed upon a fine group of actresses this year. The ladies sharing 2012 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations are all first time nominees (except for Janet McTeer who was previously nominated in 1999) with performances rivaling veteran women in the Best Actress category. If we go by what the previous award shows say, there is one clear winner, but I think each of these varied ladies brought their A-game with them this season. Here are the nominations for Best Supporting Actress, with my predicted winner in red…

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It’s been a year filled with silent screen stars seeking redemption, the 1920s coming alive in Paris, a young boy searching for the first great director, sex addicts in New York City, horses going to war, maids of dishonor, and skulls getting crushed in elevators. Now it’s time to celebrate all of those things and more with the 84th annual Academy Awards. They’ve come a long way since the Hotel Roosevelt in 1929 (although sex addicts have almost always been a fixture). Get to ready to smile, ball your fists with snubbed rage, or be generally unsurprised. Here they are. The 2012 Oscar nominees:

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Although the real question keeping Hollywood awake in 2012 is “Does Winston Wolf clean up dead hookers on Yom Kippur?”, the fine folks over at HitFix have put forth a handful of queries of varying importance which filmmakers, studios and fans might have on their minds this year. It’s their 15 Questions Keeping Hollywood Awake in 2012. With concerns from Lindsay Lohan’s possible last chance to Joss Whedon’s first real shot with The Avengers, it’s an intriguing list that might prove 2012 to be both an endlessly fascinating and completely irrelevant year in the stories behind the movies. Will Smith, Found Footage, Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and more. HitFix has questions, and here are the answers:

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The last couple weeks have been full of chatter about a sequel to Kristen Wiig’s hugely successful starring vehicle Bridesmaids. It all started when Wiig herself (who also co-wrote the film) said that she wasn’t working on a sequel, and instead was moving on to writing something new. That got us all speculating. Just because she’s not doing the sequel now doesn’t mean she never will, we told ourselves. Then there was the reality that needed to be faced that the studio could try to put together a sequel even if Wiig wasn’t involved. As long as they got breakout star Melissa McCarthy back, fans would probably be more than happy to file back into the theaters for some Wiigless fun, wouldn’t they? But now, after some additional comments Wiig has made on the subject, it’s looking like all the speculation was for naught. McCarthy has gone on record as saying that she would never participate in a sequel that didn’t involve Wiig, so that possibility is out. The only hopes for a sequel then lie in the notion that perhaps Wiig will want to come back to the property after she does something else. But no, that’s not the case. Wiig flat-out told E! at the Golden Globes, “We’re not planning on doing one.”

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Last August, during that first rush to pin down Bridesmaids stand-out Melissa McCarthy, we reported on a McCarthy-starring project that would pit her against Jason Bateman. The film was then titled ID Theft and was set to revolve around McCarthy’s character stealing Bateman’s character’s identity. Hijinks would, of course, ensue. The film has now gotten a slight title change and a not-wholly-unexpected director. Identity Theft will be directed by Seth Gordon, who has already directed Bateman to reasonable hilarity in Horrible Bosses. Written by The Pursuit of Happyness scribe Steve Conrad (with a rewrite by Craig Mazin), the project already has a bit of notoriety, as Bateman (who is also producing) reportedly asked that the film’s script be tweaked to see a man and a woman face off (it was previously a dueling dude affair) after being bowled over by McCarthy’s performance in Bridesmaids. Gordon’s name has already been bandied about for the Horrible Bosses sequel and he’s currently set to direct that bizarrely inevitable War Games remake. [Deadline Plainfield]  

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Last week the news broke that Bridesmaids co-writer/star Kristen Wiig doesn’t intend on making a sequel to the film, and is instead focusing on other projects. This is a potential problem, because Bridesmaids made a lot of money, which is going to make it pretty tempting for Universal to go ahead and cobble together some sort of shoddy sequel regardless. It was my opinion that the only way this could work is if they got a great script and shifted Melissa McCarthy’s character to the lead role…but now it’s looking like that strategy probably won’t work out either. Recently, E! confronted McCarthy about the potential sequel at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and got some pretty choice comments. At one point she tried to go the Judd Apatow route and be diplomatic by saying, “I don’t know anything about it. But I know that nobody wants to do it unless it’s great. If it is, I will show up wherever those ladies are.” That might sound like a willingness on McCarthy’s part to pick up the franchise and run with it, but I think it was more just a brush off answer meant to not limit any possibilities.

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Last year’s lady-centric comedy Bridesmaids cost Universal $32 million to produce and ended up banking over $288m at the box office. Plus it made viable, hit anchoring stars out of both Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. So, would you imagine that the studio wants to make a sequel? The answer is yes, yes they do, very much, but unfortunately they have a huge stumbling block in front of them. According to a report from THR, the original film’s co-writer and star, Kristen Wiig ,isn’t interested in doing another one. When asked about the potential sequel, that should definitely be once again written by Wiig and her collaborator Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig, Wiig replied, “We aren’t working on that. Annie and I aren’t planning a sequel. We are writing something else.” Oh. Ouch. That sucks for Universal. THR’s speculation over why Wiig refuses to play ball centers on the minuscule $100 thousand bonuses the cast got on the first one, after it became a runaway financial success, but Wiig refused to comment on whether her reluctance to work on another Bridesmaids is financially motivated or not. She also might not want to start doing comedy sequels because she’s trying to move her career in a more dramatic direction. She’s got upcoming dramatic roles opposite people like Annette Bening in Imogene and Robert De Niro in The Comedian. That sounds like a potential springboard into Oscar territory to me. Doing something as lame as a “getting the band back […]

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Ever since Melissa McCarthy stole our hearts and upset our stomachs with a breakthrough, gross out performance in Bridesmaids, we’ve been tracking the skyrocketing of her career very closely. In rapid succession it was announced that Bridesmaids director Paul Feig was developing a project specifically for her, that she landed a role in Judd Apatow’s next directorial effort This is Forty, and also that she scored a big part in the upcoming Jason Bateman-gets-pushed-around-again comedy ID Theft. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the things that McCarthy has been up to since Bridesmaids was released, however. The Hollywood Reporter has a cover story on the actress that talks about her winning an Emmy for her role on Mike & Molly, getting the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live, starting her own production company, and even starting up her own design label. She’s like the Jay Z of comedic actresses. The part of the article that interested me the most though, was the announcement of a couple more film projects she has in development. They did not give too many details about the first one, but apparently it’s a dark comedy that McCarthy is co-writing with The Help writer/director Tate Taylor. They know each other from their days of being in The Groundlings together and the script is currently half-finished. The other project, that we get a couple of plot details about, is called Tammy. It’s the project that McCarthy says she is most excited about, […]

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Drinking Games

It was one of the uproarious, raunchiest and most beloved comedies of the summer. No, we’re not talking about The Hangover: Part II. We’re talking about the ultimate women’s lib movie, Bridesmaids, which showed that beautiful ladies can burp, fart and poop on screen just like the men can. The DVD and Blu-ray of Bridesmaids drops today, complete with an unrated version of the film, so now you can invite your mom, grandmother and aunt over for a maid of honor toast with your favorite beverage and enjoy the movie again.

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There’s not a single mean-spirited bone in Paul Feig‘s Bridesmaids. This is a rare comedy, in the sense of how sweet and clearly in love the director and cast are with its characters. This is a film about genuinely good people who make terrible, but understandable, mistakes. Whenever the tone skirts towards taking a mean turn, Feig reverts back to honesty and realism. The writer-director is no stranger to that type of grounded comedy; just look at his cult classic show Freaks and Geeks. The only character that many will find despicable is one: Ted (played by Jon Hamm). Ted is that moronic jock who thinks he can take and have whatever he wants. Nearly every other line he says reeks of an idiot, and yet he’s still oddly likable. Someone so narcissistic should never be this charming. Here’s what the friendly and talkative Paul Feig had to say about mean-spirited comedy, shooting comedic sex, and having characters talk like real people:

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Winners will be highlighted in bold and you can check out the winners that were already announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The very first Emmy Award was given to a ventriloquist named Shirley Dinsdale who worked with a puppet called Judy Splinters. Is that significant? Of course it is. That fact coupled with the design of the award itself – a woman holding an atom – represent the true heart of television’s most significant celebration: artistic inspiration, scientific technology, and wooden humanoids that only talk with a hand shoved up their back. Ponder that while you bask in the glory of the victorious. Here are the winners of the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Since her hilarious, Guy Fieri-inspired turn in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has been flooded with praise (including an Emmy nomination for Mike & Molly) and offers for new work (including a part in Judd Apatow’s next and a role written for her by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig), along with selling a pitch to Paramount with Bridesmaids scribe Annie Mumolo. If that wasn’t impressive enough, McCarthy’s work in the summer smash was apparently enough to get Jason Bateman to flip the script on his next film, ID Theft. Bateman will star in and produce the film, which gave him the clout to ask that the script (from Steve Conrad with a rewrite by Craig Mazin) be tweaked to focus on a male lead and a female lead, not the dueling males it first called for. Bateman will star as a guy who gets his identity stolen by McCarthy’s character. Bateman reportedly asked not only that the sex-changing rewrite happen, but that it happen specifically for McCarthy to take the role. We can only guess that Bateman will play a hapless everyman who gets his identity jacked by McCarthy’s thief, which sounds like a battle of the wide-eyed goofball titans, and the only way that identity theft could ever be even somewhat amusing. The film is set to start filming in April of next year when McCarthy’s Mike & Molly is on hiatus. [Deadline Scottsdale]

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Fresh off of her head turning performance in this year’s breakout comedy hit Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy is riding her momentum right into the next Judd Apatow movie. The new film is a revisiting of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s married couple from Knocked Up that was once and may still be titled This is Forty. McCarthy is said to be playing the mother of a child that attends the same school Rudd and Mann’s children do, and her kid is going to be played by Super 8’s Ryan Lee. There aren’t any more details than that, but I’m guessing that her character will also be loud and mouthy. Gotta dance with the one who brought you. Despite the fact that she was the big revelation of Bridesmaids, and she’s got a bunch of film offers coming her way, McCarthy is still one of the stars of the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. Probably she’s going to need to get out of that deal, because while I haven’t actually seen it, I hear that show is pretty atrocious. We can’t be having a big network anchor tied around our neck when that Apatow money starts rolling in, know what I mean? I say we start a free Melissa McCarthy petition. [THR]

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While Bridesmaids is clearly an ensemble comedy with a lot of great performances, I came out of it thinking that it had one clear star making turn. If you want to believe the oft-repeated marketing hype that Bridesmaids is a female version of The Hangover, then the clear Zach Galifianakis of the group was Melissa McCarthy. Everyone in the film gets at least a couple strong zingers to throw at the audience, but it’s McCarthy who provides most of the big, gut punching belly laughs by fearlessly laying bare all of the character’s foibles for everyone to see. I’ve never seen Mike and Molly, so I don’t know what she’s like on that show, and I can barely recognize her as the same actress who played the bubbly and annoying Sookie on Gilmore Girls; so her performance hit me as a real revelation. When I walked out of Bridesmaids, the strongest reaction I had to it was a feeling that we’d be seeing a lot of Melissa McCarthy in the days to come. Well, it looks like that future is already coming to pass. In an interview with Inside Movies McCarthy spills the beans on not only a new project that Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is developing for her, but also on a project that she is writing for herself. On working with Paul again, McCarthy said, “It’s really overwhelming. If Paul asked me to come over and vacuum his house, I would be like ‘Ab-so-lute-ly! Do you need your […]

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The comparison of Bridesmaids to The Hangover is surface level, marketing nonsense, but the idea is so prevalent that it seems like it needs to be shaken off before talking about the movie. Are there pre-wedding antics? Yes. Is it outrageous? Only sometimes. It is pure situational comedy? Not at all. In contrast, Bridesmaids is far more character driven, and that’s where half the humor comes from. Of course, it’s hilarious to watch these women get into ridiculous situations involving body functions, but there’s far more to the story than a group jumping from absurdity to absurdity in hot pink taffeta. This review should also be taken with a grain of salt, though, because I missed several minutes of the movie. Why? Because a fight almost broke out in the theater. An upstanding member of society kept pulling out his cell phone, an older gentleman asked him politely to put it away, and curse words were flung back. More curse words came, and rather than watch a cell phone-addicted asshat get himself so worked up that he leaped over a row of seats to beat up a senior citizen who just wanted to enjoy a movie, I ducked out to go snag a manager. So, yes. I missed a little bit. But even still, Bridesmaids worked fantastically well. That seems like a testament to its strengths.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets set for another weekend of weddings with Kristen Wiig and her posse. Sadly, he discovers that he doesn’t have a vagina and decides to move on. Next, he takes a trip to an alternate world where priests kick ass and kill vampires. Once he realizes he is woefully out of place next to sultry Maggie Q in a ninja priest outfit, he comes home to find his possessions kicked to the curb with Will Ferrell in the middle of the whole mess.

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