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The last two screenwriting credits for Etan Cohen were last year’s Men in Black 3 and 2008’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, but to me his best work will probably always be co-writing 2008’s balls-out hilarious Tropic Thunder for Ben Stiller. His directorial debut, unfortunately, sounds like it’ll be completely forgettable, despite the fact that he’ll be working with two of the most popular comedians in the business. Variety reports Cohen as signed on to direct the Warner Bros. comedy Get Hard, which will star Will Farrell and Kevin Hart, two guys that could be in a laxative commercial and people would pay money to go and see it.
Get Hard, which will almost definitely see a name change before it gets released, will follow a wealthy investment bank manager who gets popped for a crime he wasn’t responsible for, and he gets coached for the prison experience by the man who washes his car. While it’s known that Ferrell will be playing the bank manager and Hart will be playing the car washer, I wish they would do a role reversal before the film comes out.
Cohen’s only other directorial credit is the short film My Wife is Retarded, a classic in the genre no doubt. He was also one of the screenwriters behind the not-yet-produced Ghostbusters III. His directorial debut was supposed to be Paramount’s Daddy’s Home, which will also star Ferrell along with Vince Vaughn, but that film apparently is taking a backseat to Get Hard, which will probably head into production fairly quickly to keep up with Ferrell and Hart’s schedules.
Ferrell has already finished his voicework for Phil Lord and Chris McKay’s animated The Lego Movie, and he’ll be seen this December in the highly anticipated Anchorman sequel. He’s currently filming Shira Piven’s oddball-sounding comedy Welcome to Me with Kristen Wiig and Linda Cardellini and a slew of other stars.
With the popular stand-up doc Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain bringing this already popular comedian into the all-encompassing limelight, you’ll soon be seeing Hart just about everywhere. He’s got roles in Nick Cannon’s musical comedy School Dance, Peter Segal’s boxing comedy Grudge Match, Steve Pink’s About Last Night, and both Tim Story’s action comedy Ride Along and his romantic comedy Think Like a Man Too. And those are just the ones that he’s completed.
This film sounds like an SNL sketch rather than a full-fledged movie, and screenwriters Ian Roberts and Jay Martel back my point up, though I do really enjoy both of them. Roberts is one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade , and both he and Martel are writers and producers on Comedy Central’s endlessly amusing Key and Peele. Here’s hoping Cohen will add some visual flair to keep this from looking like a TV skit.