Not to be Nikki Finke about it, but like toldja or something? The trades are making noise about Kristen Wiig’s “new” project “Imogene,” a dark comedy that’s a labor of love and one that she’s been working on for two years. We’ve heard of it, as you had too. We asked a few months ago rhetorically, why had all the cast and crew of “Bridesmaids” — Melissa McCarthy, writer Annie Mumolo, director Paul Feig, Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd, Ellie Kemper — reaped the benefits of that film ($206 million worldwide and counting) except for its star, co-producer and co-writer Kristen Wiig?
Well, as we hoped, she was using that cachet to fuel her personal project “Imogene,” and now, after several months of getting it ready, the picture is good to go and has a start date of August. Fantastic.
But to play Nikki about it slightly and remind you. We broke the news of this project in the summer of 2010 and told you then that “American Splendor” directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini were set to direct based on a script from Michelle Morgan (she’s also written “Is He The One” for Katherine Heigl and a Fox project called, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun“).
We also spoke to Wiig, Berman and Pulcini over the months and received several updates, the last one being that the film would shoot this summer. Like we told you (nyah, nyah, nyah, etc.).
“It’s basically about a girl who kind of pretends to kill herself,” Wiig told us exclusively in March, “Starting off really funny, isn’t it? She does it to get her recently ex-boyfriend’s attention. She ends up having to go live with her mom, whom she hasn’t seen in years. It’s kind of about going back home, so she finds her life again and gets reintroduced to her family, kind of a coming home story.”
“It’s a comedy about a woman who in a very funny kind of situation is living in New York City,” Berman told us this spring. “And she winds up having to be in the custody of her mother who she really doesn’t get along with, and her crazy family, living outside of Atlantic City in New Jersey, and all she wants to do is get back to New York City.”
Pulcini praised the script. “[Michelle]’s a very unique female comic voice.She was an actor who has become a very in-demand screenwriter now and Shari and I really liked her voice and thought it was different,” he said, then went on to describe the tone and story a little bit. “[Kristen’s character] finds out all of these family secrets that spiral her whole life further into disarray. It’s kind of hard to describe, it’s a great character comedy movie.”
We’ve heard lots of casting rumors. Jessie Eisenberg and Paul Rudd are names that have been kicking around since earlier this year, but both the directors and Wiig wouldn’t confirm anyone, probably because it was far too early in the game, but here’s to hoping either of them turn up.
THR adds that Wiig will be an executive producer (naturally) and the film will be the first production for the newly minted Maven Pictures company. Wiig’s earned a lot of goodwill in Hollywood with “Bridesmaids” and is already likeable, so expect some A-list talent (including hopefully some of those aforementioned names) to join the cast. Announcements should come soon.