The streaming giant took on the likes of Lionsgate, Sony 3000 and 101 Studios in the competition to get the rights to The Starling, a drama starring McCarthy, Kevin Kline, Chris O’Dowd and Timothy Olyphant. It’s an expensive get and one that shows big confidence from Netflix – especially since they had not yet seen the finished product. As reported by Deadline, the deal was made solely off a screenplay and four-minute promo reel.
The film is directed by Ted Melfi, whose credits include feel-good pictures St. Vincent and Hidden Figures, the latter of which was quite the hit and earned 3 Oscar nominations. The script comes from Matt Harris.
The Starling will have McCarthy and O’Dowd playing a married couple who have suffered a tragedy. Trying to get their relationship back on track proves difficult with their individual ways of dealing with grief: he heads off to deal in recovery, while she attempts to deal in the real world, building a garden in their backyard. Surreally, she finds herself being attacked repeatedly by a starling that has built a nearby nest. Kline plays a psychiatrist-turned-veterinarian who tries to help her with the bird issue, and ends up making a bigger impact on her life.
The film has finished principal photography and is currently in post production. There’s no word as to when it’s expected to hit Netflix, particularly since so much of the entertainment industry is in a holding pattern as this pandemic plays out.
McCarthy’s most recent two films have been more serious fare; the acclaimed Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which earned her an Oscar nomination, and the ill-received crime flick The Kitchen.