Netflix acquires Melissa McCarthy-led The Starling
After amassing much interest amongst studios through its script and a four-minute promo reel, the Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)-starring drama The Starling from director Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures) has been acquired by Netflix in a reported $20 million deal, according to Deadline.
The comedy, which landed on the Black List, was scripted by Matt Harris and follows a married couple as they deal with grief following a horrible tragedy. While the husband (played by O’Dowd) departs to grieve elsewhere, the wife, named Lily Maynard (played by McCarthy) stays home to tend to the garden he built for her in the backyard. The problem is: an enormous black starling has taken up residence nearby. Presumably, the film will deal with Lily’s attempts to rid her life of the bird, following the advice of a psychiatrist-turned-vet.
Olyphant’s role is currently being kept under wraps but Kline has signed on to portray the psychiatrist-turned-vet, who is also described as having baggage from his own life weighing him down and make a large impact on Lily’s life.
In addition to Olyphant and Kline, the cast has also expanded to include Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting), Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet), Loretta Devine (Night School), Laura Harrier (BlacKkKlansman), Rosalind Chao (Mulan) and Kimberly Quinn (Hidden Figures).
The film is fully financed by Limelight and was shot from August to September of last year, creating a perfect window of completed product for Netflix to stream amidst production shut down on multiple of its other projects. Dylan Sellers, Chris Parker, Melfi and Quinn will produce, while Alex Dong is executive producing.
The Starling was apparently positioned as a starring vehicle for Keanu Reeves and Isla Fisher at one point with director Dome Karukoski attached to direct, but that obviously never came to fruition. In fact, the script originally called for a male lead to battle the bird, but that has since been changed now that McCarthy has boarded the project.