Kate McKinnon has come a long way since her mid-season addition to Saturday Night Live in 2012. The comedian is now a featured cast member of SNL and is enjoying a successful movie career with several starring roles. In 2016, McKinnon won a Primetime Emmy Award for Saturday Night Live; the actress has been nominated for four total Emmys. This season especially, her portrayal of Hillary Clinton on SNL is gaining critical and fan praise.
Additionally, this year also saw McKinnon as one of the leading ladies in the reboot of Ghostbusters, while her next upcoming project is the holiday comedy Office Christmas Party. Undoubtedly, McKinnon’s career is starting to take off. Now, McKinnon has been announced as the lead actress in the adaptation of an interesting young adult novel.
Deadline reports that McKinnon has been cast in the lead for the film adaptation of young adult novel The Lunch Witch. The Deb Lucke-authored book will hit the big screen with Clay Kaytis directing. This marks the live action directing debut for Kaytis, who most recently co-directed the film adaptation of Angry Birds, which grossed $346 million worldwide. Kaytis also worked as an animator on Disney titles like Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, and Tangled. McKinnon voiced a character in the Angry Birds film.
McKinnon will play Grunhilda, a woman from a family of witches. In The Lunch Witch, Grunhilda inherits the recipes and cauldron used by her ancestors, but after years of her family stirring up recipes and causing trouble, no one seems to believe in magic anymore. So, Grunhilda gets a job as a lunch lady at the local school, with cooking being one of her only skills. At school, Grunhilda befriends Madison, a young outcast girl with thick glasses. Lucke's book explored the idea of whether Madison could break Grunhilda’s natural intent of stirring the pot.
The Lunch Witch comes from Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg's production company with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. In 2016, Amblin has taken a minority equity investment from Alibaba Pictures, in a deal that could see more Amblin movies get released in China. This movie may be too small to get into China, but the fact that Alibaba and Amblin are working together could lead to a surprising foreign box office tally.
For many reasons it will be interesting to see if this movie does well at the box office. The book is not as well-known as other young adult novels that get the big screen adaptation treatment. McKinnon is still proving herself as a leading lady and this could prove to be a big step forward (or back) for her career. The book also spawned a sequel The Lunch Witch Knee-Deep in Niceness, so there is the obvious potential for a sequel if this adaptation cleans up at the box office.
The Lunch Witch has no release date yet, so stay tuned for more updates.