Two of Hollywood’s funniest comediennes, Amy Schumer and Kristen Wiig, have lined up new projects, with the Trainwreck star joining Steve Carell and Nicole Kidman in the comedic drama SHE CAME TO ME and the SNL alum joining Cate Blanchett in Annapurna’s adaptation of WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
In order for Schumer to fit the indie movie into her ever-busy schedule, she had to drop out of Sony’s live-action BARBIE movie despite recently polishing the screenplay to suit her comedic talents.
Schumer’s exit was chalked up to a scheduling conflict, as Sony was rigid about starting production this summer because its partner on the project, Mattel, already has merchandise and product cycles in motion. While it’s unfortunate that Sony would allow toy sales to dictate its casting decisions, the situation isn’t altogether uncommon, and it’s a sad reality of today’s film business, where the movies themselves are sometimes made in order to sell toys.
Barbie is the bestselling doll in the world, so it was important to Mattel that Sony stick to its planned June 29, 2018 release date for the film. The studio didn’t seem too miffed by Schumer’s exit, telling Variety (which broke the news) that it respects and supports her decision.
Schumer is a controversial figure in the comedy world and her casting as Barbie had been polarizing to say the least. The film is described as being in the vein of Splash, Enchanted and Big, as it finds Barbie being kicked out of Barbieland for not being perfect enough, sending her on a real-world adventure.
It’s hard to blame Schumer for pulling out of Barbie, which still doesn’t have a director. Though her casting was somewhat inspired, the PG-rated project never really meshed with her raunchy, adult-oriented brand.
Instead of Barbie, Schumer will star in Rebecca Miller’s She Came to Me, which is described as a multigenerational story about family and the complexities of modern life, as filtered through the lens of two intertwining love stories.
Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane are producing via OddLot Entertainment, while Miller is also producing with Damon Cardasis via their Round Films banner.
Elsewhere in Schumerville, the buzz on her new film Snatched isn’t very good, though Universal has high hopes for her upcoming PTSD drama Thank You For Your Service, giving the military movie an Oct. 27, 2017 release date right in the heart of awards season. Schumer plays a soldier and is said to showcase a different side of herself in that ensemble film, which marks the directorial debut of American Sniper scribe Jason Hall, and also stars Miles Teller and Haley Bennett.
As for Wiig, she’ll play an uptight mom who likes to make life difficult for Blanchett’s titular Bernadette in the adaptation of Maria Semple’s bestselling 2012 book. Blanchett plays an agoraphobic architect and mother named Bernadette Branch who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica.
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the film, which Annapurna’s Megan Ellison is producing with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force.
Like Schumer, Wiig is also super busy this year, with both Despicable Me 3 and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing due in theaters. She’s also attached to star opposite Jack Nicholson in an English-language remake of Toni Erdmann that is in development at Paramount.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief