Witnessing character integrity in Hollywood, whether it’s relative or otherwise, is pretty rare. You’ve got the Edgar Wright’s of the world bailing on his compromised Marvel project, but that’s far few and between. Then you’ve got Kristen Wiig. Her career skyrocketed after the Judd Apatow-produced “Bridesmaids,” a starring vehicle she co-wrote and developed for several years, but you didn’t see her cynically doubling down with a sequel all of a sudden. In fact, quite the opposite, the comedienne basically questioned the entire notion and asked, “why do we actually need a sequel to this?” Not something Universal really wanted to hear (to the point they considered doing a sequel without her), but something that made sense to the actress considering that story was told and told well – it didn’t merit a sequel. The world essentially became her oyster and Wiig had lots of options and most actors see this as a kind of opportunity check that you only have so long to cash.
So what did Wiig do with her new cache? Invest in smaller scale stories that she had been developing all along. The indie “Girl Most Likely” was a project she had been shepherding for sometime with her writer pal Michelle Morgan and she ended up as an executive-producer on the Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini-directed film. And instead of working on big sell-out comedy blockbusters, Wiig starred in rather small and challenging projects like “Hateship Loveship” an adaptation of an Alice Munro short story co-starring Guy Pearce and banking on a first-time feature-length filmmaker. Or the Sundance indie “The Skeleton Twins.”
So what’s next? The New York Times reports that Wiig is going to make her directorial debut on a project with her “Bridesmaids” friend, co-star and co-writer Annie Mumolo. The movie has no title or release date (let’s not put the horse before the cart now), But Wiig and Mumolo will write, produce and star in a wide-release comedy for TriStar Productions. The movie is being described as about “best friends who find themselves in over their heads and out of their depths, which were, perhaps, not too deep to begin with” and a plot that revolves around a town called Vista Del Mar.
Let’s not forget Wiig and Mumolo were nominated for an Academy Award for their “Bridesmaids” screenplay. The movie grossed $288 million worldwide in 2011 ($169 domestic) and is the 7th highest grossing R-Rated comedy of all domestically (unless you count “Pretty Woman,” which we’ll qualify as something else for these purposes).