Kevin Smith is set to make his major-studio directorial debut, helming the Warner Bros. film A Couple of Dicks, which is set to star Tracy Morgan and Smith’s Live Free or Die Hard co-star Bruce Willis as two veteran LAPD detectives (get it?), trying to track down a stolen 1952 baseball card. The movie is the first film Kevin’s directed that he didn’t also write, and it’s also his first film for a studio other than Miramax or The Weinstein Company.
Kevin’s had a long relationship with Harvey Weinstein, but it’s not surprising that he’s striking out on his own. First, we doubt any director would pass up the opportunity to direct a movie for a major studio if he believed in the script. Second, the Weinsteins already said they wouldn’t finance the indie horror film Kevin’s been trying to get made, Red State, so it wouldn’t hurt him to develop a relationship with another studio that might be able to hook him up with some financial backing down the road.
And then there’s the issue of Zack and Miri Make A Porno. We still maintain that the film was not a commercial failure. If you look at the performance of Kevin’s other films for the Weinsteins, Zack and Miri is his highest-grossing movie to date, domestically, albeit not by much. But both the Weinsteins and Kevin have said they thought its box-office performance was disappointing. Regardless, it certainly didn’t make Kevin the Quentin Tarantino of The Weinstein Company as Kevin hoped it would; sadly, Tarantino will probably be the Tarantino of The Weinstein Company.
Slashfilm suggests this move is an attempt by Kevin to permanently distance himself from the Weinsteins, “after the botched the marketing of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which many agree could have been his biggest grossing film to date with a better studio behind the publicity.” Well, it is his highest-grossing film to date, but we don’t think The Weinstein Company, so much as the MPAA, hurt the publicity of the film, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin and Harvey work together again someday soon.
But for now, it seems like the time has come for Kevin to strike out on his own, with a much better-performing studio.
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