Ladies and gentlemen, start your Oscar prognostication.
Deadline writes that Melissa McCarthy is close to a deal to star in The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent De Van Nuys, a dramedy that was named one of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays by 2011’s Black List. (The script was awarded the same number of votes as Quentin Tarantino’s then-unproduced Django Unchained.) The project, written and directed by Ted Melfi, already had Bill Murray attached to star as a misanthropic retiree who forms an unlikely friendship with his 12-year-old neighbor. McCarthy would star as the boy’s single mother.
Though its plot superficially resembles About a Boy, insiders have compared the film to As Good As It Gets and Silver Linings Playbook — two romances that melded comedy with emotion and earned 15 cumulative Oscar nominations. Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Jennifer Lawrence’s wins indicate that gold could be in reach for both Murray and McCarthy, who have each been nominated once before — provided Melfi’s finished product lives up to expectations.
Representatives for McCarthy and The Weinstein Company have not yet responded to EW’s request for comment; a rep for Melfi had no comment.