Kathryn Hahn will receive the opportunity to portray one of comedy’s most iconic women as part of a Showtime limited series.
Variety reported early Tuesday morning that the Wandavision star will play Joan Rivers in “The Comeback Girl.” In addition to portraying Rivers, Hahn will executive produce with Greg Berlanti directing and Cosmo Carlson writing the script.
Joan Rivers was a revolutionary figure in the world of stand-up comedy, especially as a woman during the rise of the New York comedy scene of the 1960s. She started her career in comedy clubs in Greenwich Village alongside her peers George Carlin, Woody Allen, and Richard Pryor. Rivers developed her own style of comedy while being a frequent guest on The Tonight Show hosted by her mentor Johnny Carson. In the mid-1980s, her idols would become her rivals as she became the first woman to host a late-night network television talk show. She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show from 1989 to 1993, winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Joan would later become best-known for her comedic red carpet awards show celebrity interviews. She authored 12 best-selling books and three-LP comedy albums under her own name and was nominated for Tony Award.
On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing while undergoing what was scheduled to be a minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan. Resuscitated an hour later, Rivers was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and later put on life support. She died on September 4 at Mount Sinai, never having awakened from a medically induced coma. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said that she died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen. She posthumously won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2015. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her sixth on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time, and in October the same year, she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
“The Comeback Girl” is primarily set in the aftermath of the cancellation of “The Late Show,” which coincided with Rivers’ husband (and “Late Show” producer) Edgar Rosenberg’s death by suicide.
The logline for “The Comeback Girl” is: “Trailblazer. Adored. Cruel. Diva. Joan Rivers had a life like no other. At age 54, she was a superstar comedienne…and then it all fell apart. THE COMEBACK GIRL is the awe-inspiring untold story of how Joan Rivers persevered through near suicide and professional abyss to rebuild herself and her career to become a global icon.”
Hahn was nominated for an Emmy for “WandaVision,” and will soon be seen in Apple TV’s “The Shrink Next Door.” She recently completed filming on Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out 2.” Hahn and Berlanti went to Northwestern University together, and have been looking for a project on which to collaborate.