The last Melissa McCarthy movie , Can You Ever Forgive Me?, floored me. McCarthy gives an atypically quiet, serious, angry, and vulnerable performance in the subdued drama, one that earned rightfully her an Oscar nomination.

An upcoming McCarthy vehicle, The Starling, sounds like it might recapture that dramatic, nuanced magic that she’s capable of — and Netflix just spent a pretty penny to ensure we’ll all be streaming it soon.

Melissa McCarthy

Per Deadline, the streaming service paid around $20 million for distribution rights for the film — and they didn’t even watch a final cut. All Netflix saw was a script, written by Matt Harris, and a four-minute sizzle reel helmed by director Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures, McCarthy’s St. Vincent), and they felt so strong about the project’s future that they outbid other studios like Lionsgate and Sony.


The film wrapped shooting in September 2019 — given how starved most studios will be for content in our coronavirus pandemic times, I’m betting Netflix paid for the privilege of having one of much fewer Oscar-ready prestige pictures. While no release date is currently set, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix pushes Melfi to finish a final cut in time to release by the end of 2020.