EXCLUSIVE: Melissa McCarthy is finalizing a deal to star with Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen, the drama on which Andrea Berloff will make her directorial debut. New Line Cinema and DC Entertainment are making the film, with a screenplay that Straight Outta Compton scribe Berloff wrote based on the 2014 comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle for DC’s Vertigo.
Michael De Luca is producing through his Michael De Luca Productions banner.
The film is an uncommon one for a major studio: a gritty drama directed by a female filmmaker, with three strong female leads in the anti-hero roles. The Kitchen is an Irish mafia story set in Hell’s Kitchen, New York in the 1970s. An FBI sweep catches mob leaders, and while they are under arrest and their criminal enterprise is jeopardized, the mob wives take over. They end up running the illicit business in more vicious fashion than their husbands ever did.
In moments, McCarthy has shown strong acting chops in her numerous comedy vehicles, but The Kitchen is a move into a straight ahead dramatic turn for the two time Emmy winner, who was Oscar nominated for her breakout screen role in 2012’s Bridesmaids.
The deal expands McCarthy’s relationship with New Line, which began with the 2014 comedy Tammy and continues with Life of the Party, set for release May 11. McCarthy is also producing Superintelligence and Margie Clause, the latter a holiday musical in which she stars for New Line. She also has coming this year Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me, and the STX film The Happytime Murders.
McCarthy is repped by CAA and MGMT. Elishia Holmes is overseeing for De Luca.