Kevin Hart paired up with Ice Cube in the buddy action/comedy Ride Along earlier this year and though the movie was a critical dud, it was box office gold ($153 million worldwide on a $25 million budget) – meaning, the starship Hart is still very much on the rise. The actor/comedian will be paired alongside Josh Gad in the marital comedy The Wedding Ringer early next year, followed by Hart’s pairing with Will Ferrell for Get Hard in March 2015.
After that? It turns out Hart already has his next buddy project – a movie titled Central Intelligence, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sharing the screen alongside Hart. New Line Cinema is planning to get the Rock/Hart teamup into production by Spring 2015, meaning Central Intelligence ought tot be in theaters by 2016 (after Hart and Cube reunite onscreen with Ride Along 2 that same year).
Variety, in its report on Central Intelligence, reveals that the project will star Hart as a “former high school sports star turned accountant” who is shocked when he learns that an unpopular and bullied ex-classmate (Johnson) is now “a CIA contract killer” – one who recruits Hart to help stop a plan to leak classified military secrets. Johnson has proven to be effective as the straight-man in odd couple pairings before, so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of chemistry he has with Hart as a comedic screen duo.
As for the rest of the movie, Central Intelligence will be directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, of Dodgeball and We’re the Millers fame. Thurber co-wrote the script with his We’re the Miller scribes Sean Anders and John Morris – writers who contributed to this month’s comedy sequels Horrible Bosses 2 and Dumb and Dumber To – and drew from an earlier draft by Ike Barinholtz and Dave Stassen (the developing Police Academy reboot).
Thurber’s comedy offerings tend to be fairly middle of the road, as far as their cinematic qualities are concerned; it’s their collective cast’s ability to be funny together that makes the difference, and that’ll again be true with Central Intelligence. Johnson’s always played his Fast and the Furious movie appearance with a sense of good hammy fun, so it may be nice to see him in full-blown action/comedy mode (for much longer than his brief appearance in The Other Guys, at that).
As for Hart, his strategy of pairing up with big-name costars in his comedies is a smart one, in that it ought to help prevent filmgoers from tiring of Hart’s solo comedy shtick too quickly. His projects aren’t so varied as Johnson’s – case in point, The Rock’s 2015 slate includes Furious 7 and 3D family adventure San Andreas – but as of right now, Hart’s pull at the box office (and with his die-hard fans) is still pretty strong.
Look for Central Intelligence to reach theaters in 2016.