Despite the (somewhat unfair) criticisms lobbed at “The Help,” its director Tate Taylor has walked away smiling. Disney‘s movie powered its way to over $175 million worldwide and lest you think that number was padded out by foreign tickets, guess again — 90% of that figure is domestic (no pun intended). Clearly winning over audiences in a big way, and with Oscar nominations a strong possibility for both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, Taylor could pretty much do anything he wants. And it looks like he might want to make a total gear change for his next effort, pairing up with another talent who is very hot right now.
We don’t need to remind you of the heat on Melissa McCarthy right now, who is also being tipped in some circles for awards season recognition for her work in “Bridesmaids” (we think Golden Globes are likely, but Oscar is a longshot). But anyway, while she’ll spend the next few months wasting her talents on the fairly awful “Mike & Molly” on CBS, the actress is already being positioned for what she’ll work on next spring once filming on the sitcom wraps. There’s already “ID Theft” lined up with Jason Bateman, but meanwhile the folks at New Line are hoping to get moving on “Tammy,” a script penned by McCarthy that they picked up last month and are talking with Taylor to direct. And it will be quite a change from the civil rights drama of his last effort.
The hard R film follows a seemingly hopeless person named Tammy, whose directionless life isn’t going as planned and she decides to get out of town, but will need to use her grandmother’s car. The catch? The hard-drinking granny insists on coming along in what is ultimately a journey of self-discovery. So yes, it’s a road trip movie in essence, but with an interesting twist on the two leads. And certainly, it’s another opportunity for more foul mouthed adventures led by McCarthy. And while New Line’s R-rated track record is pretty non-existent thus far — they were behind one of the tamest entries this year, “Hall Pass” — McCarthy could help turn that around fast.
As for Taylor, it will be another stab at comedy after this debut feature “Pretty Ugly People.” And it looks very much like a “first movie,” though even back then, he recognized the talent of Octavia Spencer, so that’s saying something. Watch the trailer below. [Deadline]