Netflix Shells Out Big Bucks To Acquire Melissa McCarthy Drama ‘The Starling’

With so many productions ground to a halt, fresh new content is at a premium. Netflix isn’t spared from this situation, and with their need to keep subscribers happy more important than ever, they’re once again dishing out the big bucks for a film with a lot of top-shelf talent. Deadline says Netflix has dropped $20M for the worldwide rights to The Starling, which puts Melissa McCarthy in another dramatic role.

The Starling is based on a Black List script by Matt Harris that has been attracting attention for a few years. It puts McCarthy in the role of Lily, who along with her husband (her Bridesmaids co-star Chris O’Dowd) are trying to recover from the death of their child. While he goes away to recover, she stays home and finds comfort in the beautiful garden she’s growing in the backyard. However, that changes when she is repeatedly attacked by a starling that has built a nearby nest. So Lily seeks help from a local psychiatrist-turned-veterinarian with baggage of his own.

The cast includes Kevin Kline, Timothy Olyphant, Daveed Diggs, Laura Harrier, Skyler Gisondo, Loretta Devine, Rosalind Chao, and Kimberly Quinn.  Behind the camera is Hidden Figures director Ted Melfi, who had his biggest hit with Hidden Figures. He previously directed McCarthy in 2014 comedy St. Vincent.  Earlier versions of The Starling had Keanu Reeves and Isla Fisher attached.

The Marling is already in post-production, making it one of the films that are nearly ready to go. That explains why the price tag was so high for Netflix to buy it against other competing distributors. While no release date has been announced, expect this to arrive in the fall during awards season. McCarthy earned an Oscar nomination for her dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me, and Netflix would like to see that replicated here.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.