Kathryn Hahn may be in demand at the moment, but one project that will not be moving ahead is the Joan Rivers biopic series, The Comeback Girl , which was cancelled by Showtime after the producers were seemingly unable to secure the rights to the acid-tongued comedian’s life rights from her daughter. The rights to any production directly about Rivers’ life are held by Melissa Rivers, and without the authorization from the late star’s estate, the limited series would not have been able to use any of the controversial icon’s famous jokes or catchphrases and would have been forced to go down an unofficial route against the wishes of Rivers’ family. Clearly, that is something that didn’t appeal to them.
The Comeback Girl was set to star WandaVision ‘s Hahn as Joan Rivers , and was to be set in the 1980s, during a period when Rivers appeared as the host of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers for a very short time, faced a number of personal hurdles in her life and saw her career nosedive at the same time as her husband Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide. In some ways, with Rivers no longer with us, it is not hard to see that her surviving family would not necessarily want to see her lowest point relived on screen just yet.
Kathryn Hahn was not only attached to star in the series, but was also executive producer, while Greg Berlanti was signed on to direct from a spec script by Cosmo Carlson. It seems like a lot of pieces had been put in place before the most crucial rights acquisition was agreed, with the series even having put out its logline of, “”Trailblazer. Adored. Cruel. Diva. Joan Rivers had a life like no other. At age 54, she was a superstar comedienne…and then it all fell apart. THE COMEBACK GIRL is the awe-inspiring untold story of how Joan Rivers persevered through near suicide and professional abyss to rebuild herself and her career to become a global icon.”
Joan Rivers died at the age of 81 , after living a life that no one could ever call ordinary or quiet. While there have been many documentaries made about Rivers over the years, this would have been a series based on one specific part of her life, and with Melissa Rivers withholding the rights to that, there was a question of whether she had plans for a different biographical take on the life of her mother. A spokesperson for Melissa said that currently there are no plans for anything to be announced yet.
Just like the comedian herself , the project had already caused controversy even in its early stages, for casting Hahn as Rivers because she is not Jewish. This led to an online debate about Jewish characters – whether real or imaginary – being portrayed on screen by non-Jewish actors, and led Sarah Silverman to brand it “Jewface” on her podcast. With the project now shut down, that is one subject that is going to have to bide its time to be reexamined in a public forum again.
Kathryn Hahn meanwhile has a number of upcoming projects in the works, including Knives Out 2 with Daniel Craig, The Shrink Next Door with Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell and a Marvel Studios WandaVision spin-off series in development, so she is not exactly short of work just yet. This news originated at Variety .
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