It seems that director Paul Feig has found the actress that he wants to play the first lead in his upcoming spy comedy Susan Cooper, but if you know his most recent work then it won't be a name that surprises you. The Wrap has reportedly learned from multiple sources close to the new production that Melissa McCarthy is now in talks to take one of the lead roles in the movie.
What's strange is that the source doesn't specify what role McCarthy is up for. Earlier reports about the project said that the movie will be a two-hander, but didn't specify the gender of the female spy's partner. Feig wrote the original screenplay for Susan Cooper himself, and while there aren't any plot details currently available, you shouldn't be expecting a spoof like Johnny English or Spy Hard. Instead, the movie is said to be a more realistic comedy that's partially inspired by Martin Campbell's James Bond reboot Casino Royale (one of the director's favorite films of the last few years). While McCarthy is a gifted comedienne and talented actress, she also doesn't look like your typical spy.
Feig and McCarthy first collaborated on Bridesmaids in 2011 and got rave reviews for their work together, which led them to reteam on The Heat earlier this year. Obviously the director and the star enjoy working with one another, but right now the only thing that might stand in the way of their next project is McCarthy's commitments to her CBS television series Mike & Molly. Should she be able to work around that schedule it sounds as though she will sign on the dotted line.
McCarthy has been having a pretty great 2013 thus far, and it sounds like things are only getting better. Both Identity Thief and The Heat did solid box office numbers; she is currently collaborating with Bill Murray on the indie dramedy St. Vincent de Van Nuys; and she recently wrapped on Tammy, her co-directorial debut that she made with co-writer/husband Ben Falcone.
Susan Cooper will actually be the first time that Feig has written a script for a feature since the 2003 drama I Am David, but his credentials in that department are backed up by the absolutely amazing, cancelled-too-soon series Freaks and Geeks. In addition to his directing work on the big screen, the filmmaker has also directed episodes for a number of series, including The Office, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Bored To Death, Parks and Recreation, Weeds and even Mad Men.
20th Century Fox will be producing Susan Cooper, but The Wrap doesn't say when they are looking to start production.