As a worshipper of all things Kristen Wiig, I was excited to learn (thanks, @scribegrrrl) that her session from Sunday’s NYT Arts & Leisure Weekend is online. (If you are a fan of Wiig or Paul Feig [Bridesmaids, Freaks & Geeks], watch it — it’s an hour well spent.)
As usual, the subject of a Bridesmaids sequel came up and Wiig gave her usual answer: “Annie [Mumolo] and I are working on something else now.”
With Bridesmaids‘ amazing performance at the box office and awards season buzz, talk of Bridesmaids 2 is not surprising, of course. Until this week, speculation has been that Universal might move forward with a sequel even without Wiig, shifting the focus to Emmy-winning star Melissa McCarthy‘s character Megan.
Apparently, none of the prognosticators had talked to McCarthy. She made herself quite clear when E! asked about the idea of proceeding without Wiig. “God, I wouldn’t want to,” she said. “I would never want to. I think it’s a terrible idea.”
That’s not to say she’s out if Wiig’s in. “I know that nobody wants to do it unless it’s great. If it is, I will show up wherever those ladies are.”
Another Bridesmaids co-star, Wendy McLendon-Covey, claims that the media has misunderstood what Wiig meant. “She never said that she didn’t want to do it,” McLendon-Covey told E! Online. “Someone gave her the opportunity to write and direct her own film so, duh, she’s going to do that first. So no. I think all she’s waiting for is for her and Annie to come up with an idea that’s equally as good.”
But is Universal really willing to wait for Wiig when Bridesmaids has so much momentum? Maybe. What worries me is the fact that the success of Bridesmaids has been hailed as some kind of landmark proof that a female fronted film can make a lot of money and appeal to a broad audience (more than just women). Bridesmaids transcended its initial “chick-flick” designation because it’s a solid, well-written, well-acted comedy that flies in the face of assumptions about the comedic abilities of women in film.
Studios will do what they always do: try to duplicate Bridesmaids‘ success. I’m sure we’ll see several female ensemble comedies in the next few years. But with so much significance placed on Bridesmaids, what happens if these films are bad? We already know the answer: Blame it on the women.
Am I being too cynical? I’d love to think that Hollywood has progressed to the point that it can judge a movie based on its merit instead of the gender of its stars. But I kind of doubt it. What do you think? Can a few lame female-fronted films wipe out the success of Bridesmaids? Should Universal attempt to make Bridesmaids 2 with a different ensemble? And while we’re at it, what do you think about Bridesmaids‘ chances for an Oscar?