Awkwafina and Karen Gillan

Even though production in Hollywood is still shut down, there are deals being made behind the scenes for future projects. A new action comedy feature called Shelly with Jumanji franchise stars Awkwafina and Karen Gillan attached is among them.

Shelly is an original script from up and coming writers Michael Doneger and Liz Storm with television director Jude Weng (Fresh Off the Boat, The Good Place) slated to be at the helm. Deadline says Ian Bryce Productions, who produced 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds at Netflix, is currently taking the script around to different studios, hoping to find a home.

The story takes place 10 years after Shelly Wheeler (Awkwafina) was the victim of embarrassing and scarring prom prank that ran her out of town. The trauma that followed turned her into an ice-cold hit-woman, and it just so happens she’s about to get a chance for revenge when her next target is revealed to be her former high school bully, Dianna Park (Karen Gillan). However, Dianna turns out to be not-so-bad in her older years and befriends Shelly, finally getting her a seat at the cool table. Unfortunately, Shelly now has to deal with another hit crew hired to kill both her and Dianna, and hilarity and action ensues.

The project is described as Mean Girls meets HBO’s Barry, which sounds like it has the potential for a lot of fun, and it feels like there might be a little bit of Never Been Kissed in there too. Though I’m wondering if Awkwafina and Karen Gillan have enough star power to draw in a crowd. On top of the box office hits in the Jumanji franchise, Awkwafina has successes like Crazy Rich Asians and the indie darling The Farewell under her belt, and Karen Gillan has become known for her role in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers franchises, as well as Doctor Who. But are they big enough names to lead an action comedy like this to box office success?

Honestly, regardless of whether this seems like a package headed for box office success, it’s nice to see actresses getting lead action roles like this, especially with a female director at the helm. Hopefully a studio will pick this one up and give it the marketing it needs to find an audience.

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