Kevin Smith signed on to direct new comedy "Cop Out" as a tribute to his late father. The filmmaker's latest release stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as a pair of detectives on the hunt for a stolen collectible baseball card.
Smith admits he was reluctant to read the script at first because he was turned off by the "homoerotic" original title, "A Couple of Dicks", but he realized the movie had potential when he finally picked up the plot. He tells WENN, "In my lap came 'A Couple of Dicks,' the original title for 'Cop Out', which sounds really homoerotic so I didn't really take a look until I (received a) call from Warner Brothers asking me if I read it."
"I thought they wanted me to re-write it or be in it and they wanted me to direct... I read it and thought, 'I could handle this.' It's like 'Lethal Weapon' with 60 per cent less action, it's just 'Clerks' (his 1994 comedy) with cops."
But Smith reveals there was a more personal reason behind his decision to take on the project. He says, "The reason I really connected to the script was my father, who passed away a few years ago, would take me out of school in the afternoon on a Wednesday to see all those kinds of movies like '48 Hours', 'Die Hard', 'The Last Boy Scout', 'Running Scared'."
"So this would be the movie where my father would think, 'Oh, you do make movies for a living,' because my other stuff he'd be like, 'Does it count as a movie if all you talk about is 'Star Wars' and other movies?' "
And Smith's convinced his dad Donald would be proud of his efforts, "Now with this, if he was alive he'd be like, 'This is a movie! It's got a plot, guns, Bruce Willis is in it and he's a movie star'."
The film's title was eventually changed to "Cop Out" after pressure from studio bosses. Smith wanted to stick to the controversial title, but relented after learning commercials promoting the project would be banned from three of the top U.S. TV networks.