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Melissa McCarthy is stepping into the lead role in Fox Searchlight’s comedy Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The film, which is based on Lee Israel’s memoir and was originally set up as a Julianne Moore star vehicle, will be directed by Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller.
McCarthy will play Israel, who took to forging famous people’s letters to make ends meet. In 1993, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property and served six months under house arrest. She died in 2014.
Nicole Holofcener, who wrote the screenplay, was originally set to direct. Shooting is scheduled to begin early next year.
Anne Carey and Amy Nauiokas, who together teamed with Heller on Diary of a Teenage Girl, are producing through their Archer Gray production company alongside David Yarnell. Jawal Nga is executive producing.
McCarthy, who most recently starred in The Boss, will next be seen in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, hitting theaters July 15. She is repped by CAA.
Heller is handled by UTA.
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