In 2013, the buddy cop comedy film The Heat was released. It was a moderately successful film, it received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it was a huge success at the box office, grossing $230 million worldwide against a $43 million budget.
The movie will always have a special place in my heart because it marked the first time I started saving my ticket stubs. No one cares about that except me, so now I’m realizing it was a useless piece of information to include. I apologize.
Anyway, Katie Dippold wrote the script, and while she was discussing the new Ghostbusters film (which she co-wrote) she talked about how The Heat was originally written for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Dippold was writing for Parks & Recreation when she created the first draft of the script. At the time, she believed Poehler would play the foulmouthed police officer and Fey would play the more reserved FBI-agent.
After she sold the script for a reported six-figure total, she got the surprise of her life when her “dream director” Paul Feig agreed to jump on as the director. While discussing casting, Feig mentioned he wanted a lead project for Melissa McCarthy, and apparently McCarthy was wanting to do a movie with Sandra Bullock.
And that’s when Dippold took a step back and realized McCarthy and Bullock would be perfect, “If you read the first draft, every now and then something starts to feel more like Melissa.”
I’m sure the film would have been successful either way, but it probably wouldn’t have made as much money had it starred Poehler and Fey. If you want to compare apples to apple juice, 2015’s Sisters comedy film (starring Fey and Poehler) made just $105 million at the box office. Not bad, but it’s not $230 million.