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Melissa McCarthy to play real-life literary scam artist Lee Israel

on May 31, 2016, 10:41am

Soon-to-be-Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy has signed on to play the late disgraced writer and literary forger Lee Israel in the adaptation of said author’s memoir, Can You Ever Forgive Me?.

Director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) is attached to helm the dark comedy for Fox Searchlight, working off a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said).

Initially, Israel wrote profiles of famous stars in the ’70s and ’80s — think Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead — before she turned dirty and started selling fake letters of deceased stars. She passed away in 2014.

This is quite an intriguing turn for McCarthy, who has thus far been relegated to class clown type roles outside of her excellent turn in 2014’s St. Vincent. It’ll also be exciting to see how Heller follows up her Sundance hit.

Shooting begins early next year.