February 13, 2018
Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish Team Up for ‘The Kitchen’
The Bridesmaids and Girls Trip breakouts look to feed off each other’s energy in this gritty graphic novel adaptation.
In 1970s New York, the cops are at war with the mob. A massive round-up of criminal kingpins leaves their operations vulnerable for a takeover. While these Goodfellas find themselves trapped behind bars, their wives must step up on the home front to protect their various rackets. Kath, Raven, and Angie discover they’ve got a real knack for underworld enterprises, and there’s more to life than maintaining dirty diapers and gargantuan Italian dinners. Maybe their husbands can just rot in jail?
That’s the premise of the Vertigo Comics series, The Kitchen which was recently picked up by New Line Cinema as the directorial debut of Andrea Berloff (Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Straight Outta Compton and World Trade Center). Playing off the same kind of empowerment drama we might see later this year in Steve McQueen’s bank heist dramedy Widows, The Kitchen will win or fail based on the talent they’ve acquired. Deadline reports that Melissa McCarthy will be joining Tiffany Haddish as two of the mob wives who find new purpose as gangsters.
Both actresses gained our undying devotion through breakout performances. Since Girls Trip, Haddish seems to have the world on a string. She’s got her choice of roles, contemplating masterpieces with Paul Thomas Anderson, and battling Beyoncé for Jay-Z’s attention. She’s currently wrapping up the Kevin Hart comedy, Night School. Her involvement alone is enough to put The Kitchen on our must-watch list.
Riding high off her own Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids, McCarthy dominated box office with smashes like The Heat and Spy. Since then she has struggled to find relevance with horrendous bombs like Identity Thief and The Boss, despite experimenting with St. Vincent and Ghostbusters. The Kitchen would offer McCarthy the opportunity to inhabit a more traditional dramatic role and absorb some of that energy currently radiating off of Haddish. At the very least, The Kitchen could expand her audience beyond pratfall antics.
McCarthy has a wide swath of films coming your way, and she’s made a new home over at New Line. What started as a partnership over Tammy continued into this May’s release of Life of the Party. She’s also producing Superintelligence, Margie Clause, and an untitled holiday musical. On top of that, McCarthy is producing and voicing a character in the Law & Order-like puppet mystery The Happytime Murders from director Brian Henson, as well as the Oscar-baity biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me? from Fox Searchlight.
While the comic book series never achieved sales figures akin to DC’s superhero line, The Kitchen did gain notable attention in 2014. The Vertigo imprint excelled with a stream of crime titles and remains the place to go if you desire bullets over spandex. Wired Magazine named the comic book series one of its five must-read titles, and the Nerdist frequently sang its praises. Last month we celebrated Vertigo’s 25th anniversary and championed the offshoot as the ideal brand to discover unique voices within the medium.