The seemingly unstoppable Melissa McCarthy, the Bridesmaids breakout who stars on Mike & Molly and went on to topline smash hit The Heat with Sandra Bullock, was dealt a blow when her standalone vehicle Tammy bowed to largely negative reviews, but that Warner Bros. title did make $100 million against a budget of $20 million, so you can’t really blame Universal for wanting a piece of the actress. Their McCarthy-led title, called Michelle Darnell, has just been slotted for an April 8th, 2016 release date.
McCarthy’s Tammy director/co-writer and off-screen husband Ben Falcone will again take the reins on the project, which finds McCarthy playing “a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she leaves prison hoping to rebrand herself, she finds that not everyone is ready to forgive and forget.”
At first blush, that sounds like an intriguing set-up for a comedy, but then again, Tammy also sounded promising. Only time will tell whether McCarthy and Falcone have come up with a truly funny story for Michelle Darnell, though I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that they’ve learned from the mistakes of Tammy.
McCarthy and Falcone again co-wrote the script, this time also collaborating with Steve Mallory. The duo are also on board as producers through their On the Day Productions, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are also producing via their Garry Sanchez Productions.
In setting Michelle Darnell for April 8th, Universal has shifted back Clifford the Big Red Dog, a live-action/animation hybrid previously set for that week, to a different date. Currently, the only other film set for that week is Focus Features’ Race.