Jason Bateman has spent the past year or so inching his way toward the Botched-Transition-from TV-to Film Hall of Fame. Let's hope he doesn't drag down Melissa McCarthy with him.
Bateman will be producing, and starring opposite Melissa McCarthy in "ID Theft," reported Deadline. It's a comedy about what happens when... well, you can probably guess what it's about.
The script, by Steve Conrad ("The Pursuit of Happyness") with a re-write by Craig Mazin ("The Hangover Part II"), was originally written for Bateman and a different actor, but the producer/star was, like the rest of Earth, completely knocked out by McCarthy's work in "Bridesmaids," and had the script tweaked so the crook could be a female. It will be McCarthy's first project once her sitcom, "Mike & Molly", goes on hiatus next spring.
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We love Bateman--hell, we have fond memories of "It's Your Move"--and "Arrested Development" stands as one of the all-time great sitcoms, thanks in large part to his work at the show's core. But his film career has been a disaster. He's had small roles in any number of films ranging from good to great--"Juno", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Up in the Air" and "Paul" come to mind--but most all of the films in which he's been a major presence have ranged from meh to wretched--"Extract", "Couples Retreat", "The Switch" and the execrable "The Change-Up." Easily the best film in which he was one of the leads is "Horrible Bosses," which we liked, but hardly stands as a testament to Bateman's talent.
So what's the problem? He has a tendency to work with people who make bad films: Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn and Ryan Reynolds. At one time or another they had all made very good and/or popular movies, but by the time Bateman's hitched his wagon to their stars, they've all been well past their sell-by date.
Like Bateman, McCarthy is a TV veteran, having appeared on the hit show "Gilmore Girls" (true story: almost canceled first date with future wife in deference to the show's season premiere) and just this month earned her first Emmy nod for her work on "Mike & Molly." Her next film role is in the "Knocked-Up" spinoff "This Is 40," but "ID Theft" looks to be her first leading role and could set the tone for her film future. We'll remind you that Bateman's first leading film role was in "Teen Wolf Too"--just sayin'...
Bateman's got the looks, skills and goodwill you need to have a great film career, maybe hooking up with an X factor like McCarthy is just the thing he needs to get back to the business of making great comedy.