As yet, Tina Fey hasn’t quite found the same rock-solid success in the cinema world as she has on television with her Emmy-laden work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock.” She wrote and co-starred in a minor teen classic “Mean Girls,” and made small waves with “Baby Mama” and “Date Night,” but that indelible role that makes her a fully fledged movie star — her “Elf,” her “40 Year Old Virgin” — is yet to appear, presumably because she’s busy nine months of the year running and starring in one of the funniest shows on television.
But with “30 Rock” likely entering its third act (renewal for a seventh season is far from a certainty, given the ratings hit it has taken in its new 8pm time slot), we’re likely to see more and more of Fey on the big-screen. And it appears she’s found a way to fill her summer vacation, with 24 Frames confirming reports that have been circulating for over a year: that she’s going to star in “Admission,” the next film from writer-director Paul Weitz (“Little Fockers,” “Being Flynn“).
And Fey is bringing another big comedy name along. While Owen Wilson was mentioned as a possible co-star a few weeks ago, the site report that the filmmakers have targeted Paul Rudd to play the male lead in the project, and that Rudd has expressed interest in starring, although no deal has been signed yet.
Based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, with a script by Karen Croner, Fey would play Portia Nathan, a Princeton admissions officer in a stale relationship, whose life is turned upside down both by a bright, eccentric prospective student, and a high school teacher (the role that Rudd would play) that has long harbored a crush on her.
Only the sourest of film fans would find the idea of a Fey and Rudd pairing unappealing. What’s most intriguing is what seems to be the comedy-drama nature of the project: Fey’s never had to flex her dramatic muscle much, but this could be a real opportunity to display some range. Focus Features are backing the film, which will shoot once “30 Rock” wraps in May, so we’ll likely see this in 2013.