Last year’s great batch of successful comedies should hopefully result in another wave of fun movies as all of the principles are empowered to tackle projects they might not otherwise have gotten made. Sometimes that just means big sequels, but sometimes the really cool comedians will use the clout to do something really weird or transgressive, what’s called the Observe & Report effect.

In the case of Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon and his lead star Jason Bateman, they’re using their power combined with the runaway success (and critical acclaim) of Bridesmaids to get Melissa McCarthy cast in an unlikely lead/villain role. Bateman was apparently so impressed with the actress’s comedic work as Megan, the puppy-thief, that he thought she’d be well suited to the titular role in he and Gordon’s next project, Identity Thief. As might guess, the film is about a man whose identity gets stolen by some asshole, and now due to Bateman’s championing the role has been converted to a female part (meaning a role for a woman not, you know, a vagina).

The film was originally scripted by Steve Conrad of Weather Man and Pursuit of Happyness fame, but inexplicably Craig Mazin landed a rewrite based on his clout from… Hangover II, Scary Movie 3, 4 and Superhero Movie?

That dampens the enthusiasm a bit.

Still, it’s nice that we’ve seen Seth Gordon pay off some of that King of Kong promise, after launching in Hollywood with Four Christmases, of all things. It’s also good that we’ll get a fresh injection of comedic actors in these tentpole comedies, some like McCarthy, that Hollywood wouldn’t have necessarily gone to bat for otherwise. As heart-warming as that is, hopefully Gordon, Bateman, and McCarthy will actually be able to make a funny movie working from a script with such an iffy pedigree.

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