Mindy Kaling is getting paid! Amazon bought the U.S. rights to the Office star’s movie Late Night for a record-breaking $13 million. This total exceeds any previous U.S. distribution deal for a movie from the Sundance Film Festival. The film was written and produced by Kaling, who also co-starred with Emma Thompson. Late Night premiered on Friday at Sundance and is already being called a crowd pleaser.
In the movie, Thompson plays the only female late-night talk show host on network TV. When she’s poised to be replaced by a man, she updates her writers room by quickly adding a woman to the staff. Kaling plays the first-time writer struggling to fit in with the team.
Late night writers rooms have been the focus of successful TV shows like 30 Rock and The Larry Sanders Show. In 2017, Amazon made a $12 million deal at Sundance for The Big Sick, another audience-favorite focused on the world of stand-up comedy. Late Night joins shows like I’m Dying Up Here, Crashing, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel showing what it’s like on stage and off for professional funny people.
Late Night, unlike late night, run by women
Late Night has a trio of powerful women leading the way. In addition to Kaling, Amazon Studios is run by Jennifer Salke and the film is directed by Nisha Ganatra. Referring to Salke, Kaling announced that, “it seems fitting that this film written by, directed by and focused on women will be shared with the world by a studio that is anchored by another incredible female.”
Ganatra remarked to Vanity Fair, “That’s the goal—to get more women in the door, more people of color in the door, and more of these stories on-screen so we can all have a more enriching entertainment experience.”