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It didn’t feel like there was a whole lot of juice to Ride Along, which carried a premise that only barely withstood a feature-length film. What audiences bought, and what audiences got, was a slapstick cop comedy that paired two familiar characters: Kevin Hart as the rambunctious amateur, and Ice Cube as the unflappable, frequently-annoyed badass. But there was chemistry there, and if you laughed a couple of times during the movie (and you probably did), you wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the two bickering with each other once again with a slightly different context. And now it looks like that’s exactly what you’re gonna get.
Deadline confirms that plans are underway for a follow-up to 2014’s first big breakout hit. Ride Along opened huge (crushing its direct competitor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) but, miraculously, registered great legs, it’s nestled close to $120 million domestic since (and it could easily make it to $140 million by the end of its run). Plans have been underway for a sequel since even before the first film was released, with the studio very confident about the film’s performance on a $25 million budget.
This announcement also confirms that the core people responsible for the first film have returned. Cube is a box office mainstay, with Ride Along joining a cupboard of hits that include the Friday movies, the Are We There Yet? franchise and the Barbershop films. But the smartest move was locking down Hart, who just starred in the Valentine’s Day hit About Last Night. Hart’s going to show up next in Think Like A Man Too, as well as the Will Ferrell team-up Get Hard and the upcoming The Wedding Ringer, so it’s something of a miracle that this sequel is expected to shoot this summer after Get Hard wraps. Tim Story, who directed the first Ride Along as well as as Barbershop, Fantastic Four, and Think Like A Man will be helming the coming sequel. Lot of collaborative spirit here.
The name that should probably be on everyone’s lips at this point is Will Packer. Packer produced both Think Like A Man and Ride Along, as well as About Last Night and The Wedding Ringer. But previously, he’s found a lot of success with black-themed films, garnering blockbuster profits for pictures like Stomp The Yard, Obsessed and Takers. Hitching his wagon to Hart might be the wisest career move he makes, as he is fast becoming one of the industry’s most dependable producers at the age of only 39.
Deadline’s report claims that the sequel "is expected to have more action" and will be more "multi-cultural to expand the demos." Given that the first film closed with (spoiler alert?) Hart resuming his efforts to join the force, perhaps partners Cube and Hart will take a third participant on a ride-along. Can you think of any comic talents that could conceivably fit that third slot? Sound off below.