If you ever wondered what The Devil Wears Prada might look like set in the world of comedy, well, Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling are here to answer that, with the trailer for Late Night. It’s the Sundance hit from the mind of Kaling, starring the producer-actress-writer as a newly staffed writer on a late-night chat show run by a tyrannical Englishwoman.
Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, a legendary but dictator-like talk show host who is going to lose her late-night spot if she doesn’t shake up her stale writers’ room filled with white comedians and make her show more appealing to an increasingly diverse audience. Kaling enters the room as Molly Patel, a newbie who is not necessarily initially welcomed or appreciated by her fellow staff members but eventually wins over her boss once she submits a few new jokes for the opening monologue of the show. She also just happens to be the only female writer in a room full of men who, according to the trailer, say things like, “I wish I were a woman of color so I could just get any job I want.” It’s not too farfetched of a scenario, considering the landscape of American late-night talk shows across networks—The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Late Late Show With James Corden, to name a few examples—is overwhelmingly white and male (and named “Jimmy”), as are the writers’ rooms for many of these shows.
The comedians John Early, Ike Barinholtz, and Paul Walter Hauser costar, along with John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, and Veep’s Reid Scott, to round out the cast.
Directed by Nisha Ganatra, Late Night had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2019, and though it was met with some mixed reviews, the film was quickly snatched up by Amazon Studios before the festival was over, and has been given a June 7 release date. There’s also some awards-season buzz for Thompson. It may be ridiculously early, but don’t be afraid to slot her in, at the very least as a possible nominee on the Golden Globes comedy and musical side of things.