Melissa McCarthy is joining Tiffany Haddish as a cast member for the upcoming DC/Vertigo Comics movie adaptation The Kitchen. The project is based on the seven-issue comic book miniseries of the same name, as was written by Ollie Masters (Snow Blind) and illustrated by Ming Doyle (Girl Over Paris, Constantine: The Hellblazer). The Oscar-nominated screenwriter Andrea Berloff is making her feature length directorial debut here, drawing from her own adapted script.
The Kitchen comic books were published in 2014 and take place in Hell’s Kitchen circa the 1970s, as three married women are forced to take drastic actions when their gangster husbands are busted by the FBI and sent to prison. Said “prison widows” thus take it upon themselves to carry on the family business, only to find that they have a knack for running criminal operations on Manhattan’s west side. The Kitchen movie adaptation is currently in the midst of assembling its cast ahead of filming starting, and it now appears that it only has one more mobster wife spot to fill.
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Deadline is reporting that McCarthy is actively finalizing a deal to costar in The Kitchen alongside Haddish, with the aforementioned third lead role yet to be cast. New Line Cinema and DC Entertainment are backing the production with three time Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Lucas, who is also currently lending his name to the developing comic book adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking (starring Chris Pratt) and the DC cinematic universe movie sequel Suicide Squad 2 (which is expected to begin shooting this fall).
The Kitchen marks something of a change of pace for McCarthy and Hiddish, both of whom are better known for broadly comedic efforts (like Girls Trip and Ghostbusters) than gangster crime dramas. Of course, neither star is a complete stranger to more serious fare either, and both have been taking steps to expand their acting wheelhouse of late. McCarthy, for example, is starring in both the upcoming biographical drama/comedy Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the Who Framed Roger Rabbit-style Jim Henson puppets murder mystery The Happytime Murders later this year. Similarly, Haddish recently confirmed that she and filmmaker P.T. Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread) are making plans to collaborate on a movie together.
Berloff, for her part, is no stranger to gritty dramatic material of both the true story based and fictional variety, as evidenced by her screenwriting efforts on the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton and Mel Gibson B-movie Blood Father, respectively. With Berloff directing and McCarthy and Hiddish starring alongside an as-yet unannounced third actress, The Kitchen will also be the rare comic book movie that features women in prominent roles on both sides of the camera – making it all the more intriguing, and a project that’s worth keeping an eye out for.
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The Kitchen does not have an official theatrical release date yet.