Hoping to get a directing debut off the ground in due time, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are finally snapping together casting on Tammy. The Bridesmaids actress, also its co-writer, has been attached to star since day one (this being a vehicle and all), but its other, long-assumed headliner is jumping ship: THR tell us Shirley MacLaine, now-former prospective owner of the second lead, will have her spot taken by Susan Sarandon — which, by my count, makes Tammy the first instance in which people thought to replace one with the other. Good job, team.

While it’s a shame to lose that legend, the newly appointed actress will get to have a bit of fun for herself. Tammy‘s script, penned alongside Falcone, centers on a fast food employee (McCarthy) who quits work after learning of her husband’s affair, now using that time for a road trip with Sarandon’s character, an “alcoholic, foul-mouthed, diabetic grandmother.” That sort of thing doesn’t stop here, obviously, and like any good (or awful) movie of this sort, unusual and memorable characters have to be encountered on their path.

This is where the next two additions manage to come in handy. First is Kathy Bates appearing as “the grandmother’s lesbian friend who saves the duo from some bad spots,” a part I hope isn’t as terrible and momentum-halting as it sounds on paper. In a different mold, and not just because his character isn’t a lesbian, Mark Duplass (Sarandon‘s Jeff, Who Lives at Home co-director) takes the role of a man with whom the titular protagonist enters “a strange relationship.” (This is bound to be romantic in one way or the other, though you don’t need me to tell you that.)

All in all, Tammy — after a number of delays that constantly put this one on its star’s back-burner — is adding up in ways more qualitatively sufficient than some (such as yours truly) would have ever expected or asked for. Word has not been given on when shooting begins, though the slate of casting means we should expect “action” to get called soon.

How would you say the production is coming together?

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