In just about everything Kathryn Hahn has been a part of in her career, she’s been a standout highlight, so let’s all agree right up top that any project she joins automatically becomes an exciting one. Following her Emmy-nominated performance in Marvel’s WandaVision, and her impending role opposite fellow MCU star Paul Rudd in Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door, Hahn was tapped to portray legendary comedian Joan Rivers for a biographical Showtime drama. But it looks like that project isn’t happening anymore, so does this mean the actress could return to the role of Agatha Harkness sooner rather than later?
It was only in mid-September when Kathryn Hahn landed the role of the late, great Joan Rivers for the Showtime project The Comeback Girl. And while it sounded like it could have been another award-season special for the actress, Variety reports that the Warner Bros. Television project (which was to also be co-produced by Atlas Entertainment and Berlanti Productions) is no longer in development. The issue here is that the icon’s daughter Melissa Rivers did not give life rights permissions to the producers, and it doesn’t sound like she was willing to in the foreseeable future, either.
By all means, The Comeback Girl could still exist as a TV series, but Kathryn Hahn’s Joan Rivers wouldn’t be allowed to use the comedian’s signature one-liners and catchphrases, with “Can we talk?” being a major one. So rather than attempt to pull off a story without some of the most recognizable elements, and without any guarantees that Melissa Rivers wouldn’t try and fight what they did come up with, the project is no more. For what it’s worth, Arrowverse co-creator Greg Berlanti would have served as a director and executive producer, with a spec script having been penned by Cosmo Carlson.
So without the cable project on her plate any longer, Kathryn Hahn could feasibly have time to jump back into the MCU for the rumored-though-not-confirmed Agatha Harkness-focused WandaVision spinoff that was reported on in the weeks after The Comeback Girl news went wide. She doesn’t appear to have any other announced projects on the horizon that could keep her away from the witchy follow-up, though it’s not as if her involvement is the only factor to consider. For a show like that, the writers will no doubt want to make sure to get the story just right, which means it could be a while before the creative team solidifies things to the point where filming can begin. But this Showtime news is certainly a progress-booster if nothing else.
While it’s not clear exactly why Melissa Rivers wasn’t open to making a deal for her mother’s life rights for The Comeback Girl, the project already faced some side-eyeing in Hollywood for Hahn being cast as the famously Jewish comedian. And given recent controversies surrounding Warner Bros. projects, including Justice League and the Greg Berlanti-produced Batwoman, It’s probably best for all involved to find projects where the rights are contractually theirs to use, and with all the right casting choices.
As it was noted above, Kathryn Hahn will return to streaming soon for Apple TV+’s dramedy The Shrink Next Door with Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. She’s also part of the massive ensemble cast Rian Johnson put together for Knives Out 2. And we know she’ll be returning to the Marvel side of things as Agatha at some point in the future. Now it’s just a question of when.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn’t sound like that’s the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.