Despite having written and directed eight feature-length movies, including Chasing Amy, which won two Independent Spirit Awards and helped launch the careers of Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, and Ben Affleck, Kevin Smith still considers himself very much a man of the people, a Hollywood outsider. So, when Warner Bros. offered him the opportunity to direct his new movie, Cop Out, Smith told Moviehole that he was apprehensive about alienating his loyal fans.
I thought about it going in to it, in terms of trying to make the movie, because I'm like, "Well, I'm gonna take a bunch of sh*t from people that love Chasing Amy and don't see why I would make a movie like this." I don't know what to tell cats like that anymore, it's just like, "I can't make Chasing Amy every time, and you wouldn't want me to because I would be a very unhappy person." And I'm a very happy cat now, you know? I'm married, I've got a kid and if you want me to make another Chasing Amy, start getting my wife to try and cheat on me or something, so I have unrest in my life.
In a previous interview, Smith said that it took him a while to figure out how to work with Bruce Willis on Cop Out because Willis wouldn't take direction and was "very much the author of his own performance." In the Moviehole interview, Smith admitted that part of the difficulty was the fact that he was more than a little starstruck by Willis.
I went in directing [Willis' character] David Addison from Moonlighting, and I wasn't the adult, the 38-year-old Kevin Smith who had made a bunch of movies, I was the 12-year-old who would lay on my parents couch and watch David Addison on Moonlighting on Tuesdays. And Bruce was smart enough and had dealt with that personality before to be like, "If you're like this the whole movie, we're not going to get anything worthwhile accomplished."
Smith went on to say that he was such a big Willis fan that he had a hard time asking the actor to deliver the kind of performance that he wanted at times.
I'm sitting in my chair behind the monitor going, "I'm such a p*ss." Back in the day, I would've been like, "No! We're going to go again, because I've got something in my head, and we're going to get there," but I didn't do it because I'm scared, I'm scared of Bruce. And I was like, "You know what, I can't be scared of Bruce, I can't make a whole movie with Bruce and be scared at the same time.... I go over and I talk to Bruce, Bruce leaning on the wall by the set, just chilling out. I say, "Hey boss," and he goes, "Hey, what's up?" And I said, "I'm thinking about going one more on that," and he goes, "Why? What's the matter?" And I said, "It was good, nothing wrong, it was totally good." And he goes, "What are you looking for?" and I said, "Well I'm looking for something but I just don't want to tell you." And he goes, "What are you talking about?" And I was like, "I'm a little scared to tell you." He goes, "Kevin, don't be scared to tell me, just tell me." I was like, "I know, but you might get mad at me," and he was like, "I'm not going to get mad." And I was like, "I'm pretty sure you're going to get mad," and he goes, "I'm getting mad now, tell me." And I said, "I was looking for you to deliver this line in the way you delivered that line, a similar line, to Mattie Hayes in the second season of Moonlighting, in an episode called 'Every Daughter's Father Is a Virgin.'" And Bruce, f*cking, he just stared at me. And Bruce looks away, just so he can look back with that Bruce Willis look. He goes, "Did you just ask me to give a line reading from something I did twenty-five f*cking years ago?" ... I walk behind the monitor and apparently we were going to go one more anyway. So we do the take, and I'm sitting there watching it, and I'm scared that I was going to get yelled at when we move on to the next thing, because I still have that adult fear in me. And I'm watching the monitor and all of a sudden Bruce Willis disappeared and Jimmy Monroe, the character he plays in [Cop Out] disappeared. And for one, brief, shining moment, there was David Addison in frame. And I was just like, I welled up, it was like Christmas.
Cop Out was written by Mark and Robb Cullen and also stars Tracy Morgan, Seann William Scott, Kevin Pollack, Adam Brody, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jason Lee, and Ana de la Reguera. Posted 02.27.10 by BrentJS
Perhaps it's time for director Kevin Smith to focus on something he's shown some real talent at — namely publicity stunts — rather than directing movies.
"...works as a love letter to film fandom, and, amid the ample violence and genitalia jokes, its strength is its sincerity."
— Karina Longworth, Village Voice
"...there's not a whole lot to Cop Out besides watching Kevin Smith pretend, with a crudeness that is simply boring, that he's an action director making a comic thriller about cops versus a Mexican drug gang (yawn)."
— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"A lot of the dialogue is intended as funny, but man, is it lame."
— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Cop Out marks indie hero [Kevin] Smith's first attempt to direct a script he did not write and given the absence of his garrulous dialogue and sweetly obscene sensibilities, the shortcomings of his craft are made all the more apparent."
— Andrew Barker, Variety
"...doesn't cop out on talking the talk, but it falls down on the job whenever it comes to walking the walk."
— Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter Posted 02.25.10 by reelz
Director Kevin Smith's new movie, Cop Out, opens this week, but even though Smith called it a"buddy cop movie" and said that "it looks like 48 Hours. It looks like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon," don't call it an homage. At least, not in front of Bruce Willis. Willis and his co-star in the movie, Tracy Morgan, recently sat down to discuss Cop Out and, when asked what it was about, Willis quipped, "It's about 92 minutes." He went on to say, "I can tell you way more what it's not about. It's not an homage to 80's buddy cop action-adventure movies." Perhaps Smith didn't get the memo.
The plot of Cop Out revolves around the theft of a rare baseball card that NYPD detective Jimmy Monroe (Willis) had planned to sell to pay for his daughter's wedding. Monroe and his "partner against crime," Paul Hodges (Morgan), pull out all the stops to catch the memorabilia-obsessed gangster who took it, even enlisting the assistance of Dave, an annoying stoner thief (Seann William Scott). Posted 02.24.10 by BrentJS
While doing press for his upcoming Cop Out, MTV asked Bruce Willis to compare his character in Cop Out to John McClane, the hard luck cop he's played in four Die Hard movies. While Willis has admitted in the past that he would like to make another Die Hard, Willis surprisingly announcing that Die Hard 5 could begin production "next year."
There is no John McClane. The John McClane that exists is only in film and in people's minds. And it continues to grow, that mythology continues to grow, that mythology continues to grow and I take a certain amount of pride in being part of that [mythology], and the fact that I still get to do it. I think we're going to do a Die Hard 5 next year.
And what would Willis like to see happen in Die Hard 5?
Well it's got to go worldwide. That would be my contribution to [the next movie]. I would hire [Live Free or Die Hard director] Len Wiseman right now.
Another Die Hard may not be the only Willis sequel that could be in the works. Willis says that director M. Night Shymalan is considering an Unbreakable sequel.
I talked to [Shyamalan] over the holidays, and he is still thinking about doing the fight movie between me and Sam [Jackson] that we were going to do and we chose to do the origin.
In Unbreakable, Jackson discovers that he is Willis' nemesis at the end of the movie, though how Jackson's fragile villain and Willis' indestructible hero would do battle is a question only Shymalan could answer. Willis would be fine with the sequel.
As long as Sam can make it, I'm up for it. Posted 02.24.10 by Ryan
Director Kevin Smith's new movie, Cop Out, opens this week, but Smith is already talking about his next project, Hit Somebody, a hockey movie that takes its name from a classic Warren Zevon song. But, before you start thinking that Smith + hockey = comedy, think again. When he first announced the movie back in October, Smith said that everyone assumed he would be applying his Clerks sensibilities to hockey in a send-up of the '70s classic Slap Shot, but he countered that presumption by saying, "It's not like my normal sh*t."
Unlike Cop Out, which is the first movie that Smith directed that he didn't also write, Smith will write and direct Hit Somebody. In a recent interview with NHL.com, he said that the script isn't ready yet, but that he "could probably write it in less than a month." Smith said that, beyond his Cop Out duties, the only thing that was holding him back was finding the right "voice" for the main character, Buddy, a hockey player better at physically injuring his opponents than scoring goals. Smith revealed that after working with Seann William Scott on Cop Out, he realized that Scott was perfect for the role and signed him up for the job.
Seann, for me, was the key into the character. I had all the elements in place, and the one thing I was missing was the personality. Generally, I like to write to a voice, but I didn't know who that voice was or what that voice could be. And then after spending all the time with Seann on this movie, he's pitch perfect. He is that guy.
This dude has something in him that you can just see hangs so well on Buddy. He's got some pain that's going to work out well. More importantly he has so much love in his heart. Seann Scott is such an ebullient, happy person who's just happy to be there. And on [Cop Out] you could see it. On our set, the guy is just so delighted to be working, to be making people laugh. But he's always dismissed as [his American Pie character] Stifler.... This is his chance to shine.
Not only is Smith not shooting for the kind of lowbrow humor that has typified his View Askew productions, but he says that Hit Somebody could be the movie that helps both him and Scott take their careers to the next level.
I look at this as Seann's opportunity to go to the [Tom] Hanks level. Hanks for years and years did this [lesser] role and then he became that [blockbuster movie] guy. This is Seann's chance to do that as well, not just be Stifler. And it's my chance to not just be the Clerks guy. It's my chance to do something big, epic in scale. Stories I tell span one day.... This spans 30 years. You're talking a period. You're trying to bring people to a time in your life that hasn't existed in 30 years. The look of it, the feel of it, the sound of it — everything I have is going to be in that movie.
The only other piece of information known about the movie at this time is that Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: Nemesis) will have an unspecified role in the movie. Posted 02.23.10 by BrentJS
Six new desktop wallpapers for director Kevin Smith's Cop Out have debuted on FilmoFilia. Unfortunately, other than the hilarious tag line, "Rock Out With Your Glock Out," the wallpapers barely hint at the humor in the movie, as evidenced in the seven clips that were recently released.
Featured in the wallpapers are Jimmy "Hot Head" Monroe (played by Bruce Willis) and his partner, Paul "Wise Guy" Hodges (Tracy Morgan), two NYPD detectives on the hunt for a stolen baseball card that Monroe had planned to sell to finance his daughter's wedding. Also included is one wallpaper featuring "Doody Calls" Dave (Seann William Scott), a stoner thief that helps the dynamic duo along the way.
Written by Mark and Robb Cullen, Cop Out is the first movie that Smith directed but didn't also write. Smith said in the past that Cop Out is the "buddy cop movie" that he would have written if he was going to write one, comparing it to movies like Lethal Weapon and Bevery Hills Cop.
It's pretty much the movie you imagine in your head but like 40% funnier.
Cop Out also stars Kevin Pollack,Adam Brody, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Smith's View Askew alum Jason Lee. Posted 02.22.10 by BrentJS
If the hilarious video clips below are representative of director Kevin Smith's latest movie, Cop Out, an ode to 1980's "buddy cop" movies like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, then it could just be the kind of hit that Smith needs to get people to stop calling him "Silent Bob," the character he played in his "View Askewniverse" series of movies that began with Clerks in 1994.
The plot of Cop Out revolves around the theft of NYPD detective Jimmy Monroe's (played by Bruce Willis) rare baseball card, which he had planned to sell to pay for his daughter's wedding. Monroe and his "partner against crime," Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan), pull out all the stops to catch the memorabilia-obsessed gangster who took it, even enlisting the assistance of an annoying stoner thief (Seann William Scott).
Collider also debuted a new still from the movie featuring Willis, Morgan and Ana de la Reguera, who plays the witness of a murder in a sub-plot involving millions of dollars in off-shore bank accounts. Posted 02.20.10 by BrentJS
For everyone hoping for Kevin Smith's latest movie to retain its A Couple of Dicks title, it appears you're out of luck, as it's now been officially changed to Cop Out.
However, everyone disappointed in the title may find relief in the first trailer that was released online, which will play before showings of Sherlock Holmes. Check out Bruce Willis, Tracey Morgan, and Seann William Scott in action below. Posted 12.26.09 by Ryan
Two weeks ago, word spread that Kevin Smith's buddy-cop homage A Couple of Dicks, starring Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan, was getting a new title. The new title, Cop Out, is much tamer and less memorable than its predecessor, much to Smith's chagrin. Smith explained to EW the pain he endured in having to change the title.
Look, losing A Couple of Dicks was almost akin to losing my own d**k. It was a perfect buddy-cop movie comedy title. Everyone knew it. You couldn't say that title to somebody without a f**king smile crossing their face. But what I had gone through with Zack and Miri Make a Porno — "porno" had become very problematic, it became tough for us to advertise [the movie], blah blah blah. Warner Bros. decided, "Hey man, we'll call the networks and see if we're going to get any problems [with A Couple of Dicks as a title], months before the movie's ever going to come out." The top 3 networks — CBS, ABC, NBC — said we can't run one of your spots before 9 o'clock.
I'm like, "Well what about Inglourious Basterds?" And I guess, because of the spelling, they got away with it. So we were like, "Can we call it A Couple of D.I.C.s?" Because that's the proper acronym for detectives, Detective In Charge. And [the networks] kicked that back as well. It was the pluralizing of any form of d**k, whether it was d-i-c-k or any derivation.
Smith credits Warner Brothers for fighting "hard" for the title, but says the angriest people were his online supporters.
And I've got a lot of people online, on Twitter especially, going, "Don't lose this fight! Don't let them change it!" And it's like, "Dude, it's not my call." All these people online seem to think I have the almighty juice. I got no juice. I made Jersey Girl.
Still, Smith seems pleased with the new title.
I liked it because it sounds like exactly what we set out to be: An '80s buddy cop movie, without sounding like Loaded Weapon, or some such s**t. But more importantly, to me, the title tells the story of what happened to our other title. I think it's kind of ironic. It's win-win. Posted 12.26.09 by Ryan
Outside of the title, A Couple of Dicks is an unusual project for Kevin Smith. The movie wasn't written by him and will star Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan. This buddy-comedy about two cops has been described by Smith as an "average" 80's movie "in a good way." Even the title has been changed to the more generic A Couple of Cops, but it could change again, this time for the better. Smith used his Twitter page to announce that the movie was getting an all-new title.
DICKS NEWS: The Movie Formerly Known as A COUPLE OF DICKS has finally settled on a (network-policy-dictated) replacement title! While we'll always have DICKS in our hearts, the title we just now locked makes me smile on a bunch of different levels - including this 1: we can now advertise our movie properly (& ironically). And said marketing begins ... on every print of SHERLOCK HOLMES, Christmas Day!
When pressed by fans about what the new title was, Smith replied that he couldn't announce it.
That kinda thing's above my pay-grade, sir. WB will announce in a day or two.
Warner Brothers has yet to announce the new title did release a new photo from the upcoming movie. (The Movie Formerly Known as) A Couple of Dicks opens February 26, 2010. Posted 12.10.09 by Ryan