Leave a Comment

Of all the R-rated comedies that were hits this summer, and all the actors who suddenly seemed like hot properties as a result, it's hard to imagine two people who benefited more than Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. They each had big hits with Horrible Bosses and Bridesmaids, and while Bateman's other summer comedy The Change-Up tanked, it didn't seem to damage America's ongoing affection for Michael Bluth. McCarthy, for her part, is looking nothing but sterling right now, having stolen every scene in Bridesmaids, getting an Emmy nomination for her work on Mike & Molly, and signing up for a reunion with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and Jon Hamm for a romantic comedy, along with a role in Judd Apatow's next film.

As it turns out, Jason Bateman knows better than anyone that McCarthy has had an amazing summer. According to Deadline he pushed for a rewrite in the upcoming comedy ID Theft so that McCarthy could play a central role as an identity thief-- the role was originally written for a man. With the rewrite in place, Bateman is attached to star as McCarthy's hapless victim, with plans for production to start next April during the Mike & Molly hiatus. Bateman had the power to make this change partly because he's also the film's producer, along with Scott Stuber-- it'll be Bateman's first producing effort to actually shoot, though he also set up a deal for Ron Howard to direct an adaptation of Under the Banner of Heaven.

It's interesting to see Bateman not just start producing his own comedies-- that's pretty standard for an actor with a lot of sway-- but also set up projects that he'll presumably have nothing to do with. And it's awesome to see Bateman using that power to secure another role for McCarthy, who worked for more than a decade in thankless supporting roles before breaking out big time. Bateman has set himself up with a dynamite co-star who will surely make ID Theft better, but who's also likely to steal the movie right out from under him. That's the rare sign of an actor who's operating on more than just ego.