May 1, 2014

Tradecraft: Statham/McCarthy Movie Gets a Title, More Stars

Bridesmaids director Paul Feig's Melissa McCarthy/Jason Statham spy comedy has gotten a title: Spy. Yes, that title's already taken by a UK sitcom (an American remake last pilot season didn't make it to series), but that doesn't seem to be a concern to Feig and distributor Fox. The movie has also gained a few more stars, beefing up an already impressive cast. In separate stories, Deadline reports that spy veteran Morena Baccarin (Homeland) and former White House staffer Alison Janney (The West Wing) have come aboard. They join an international all-star cast including McCarthy, Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Miranda Hart, Peter Serafinowicz, Bjorn Gustafsson, and Verka Serduchka. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baccarin will play a deadly CIA agent named Karen Walker, while Janney will play what Deadline describes as "top CIA agent Elaine Crocker." I'm not sure if by "top agent" they mean that she's at the top of her game or at the top of the Agency, as the M of this world. The latter would make sense given Janney's formidable resume. McCarthy plays a CIA analyst drawn into the field for the first time. While that's the same logline as the Steve Carrell version of Get Smart, Feig has insisted in the past that his film takes place in a realistic world and is closer in character to Casino Royale than Get Smart or Johnny English. The comedy presumably comes from McCarthy's fish out of water situation rather than the world. Spy began filming last month in Budapest and opens next May.

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