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.
“Jamie and Jessica are two of the funniest people on this planet,” Feig said. “They took small roles in The Heat and turned them into characters worthy of their own movie. I can’t wait to unleash Beth and Gina on the world. Run for your lives.”
Feig and his wife Laurie have been working with Denbo and Chaffin since he directed their Ronna & Beverly pilot for Showtime. The Feigs — along with Hat Trick Productions, Denbo and Chaffin — produced six episodes of a Ronna and Beverly talk show last year for Sky Atlantic in the UK based on the UCB talk show Denbo and Chaffin created, wrote and starred in.
Denbo sold the feature pitch Wedding Dance to Universal Pictures and her script Best Buds has Natalie Portman attached to star at Vendome Pictures. She is also developed shows at CBS, FX and Comedy Central. Chaffin has a recurring role on the Fox series New Girl and she will be seen in the upcoming season of Showtime’s Episodes. Denbo is repped by Apostle’s George Heller and Pakula/King & Associates, while Chaffin’s repped by CAA, the Schiff Company and attorney Jeff Endlich. Scribe McAlpin is repped by 3 Arts.