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Tracy Morgan: The Next Will Ferrell?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 10, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 10, 2010 |

Could Tracy Morgan actually become a legitimate comedic presence in movies? The dude basically plays himself in everything he’s in. It’s perfect, in small doses, for his role on “30 Rock,” but what’s the expiration date on that shtick?

We may find that out, soon, with Morgan set to carry half a movie in Cop Out later this month, and if that succeeds with mainstream audiences, it may not be Kevin Smith or Bruce Willis that gets the credit. It may be Tracy Morgan, who could become the next one-trick Ferrell or Sandler.

Depending on the success of Cop Out, he’s also got another project in the works, according to The Hollywood Cog. Johnny Knoxville, through his production company, Dickhouse Productions, and under the umbrella of Paramount, is developing a hitman comedy that both Knoxville and Morgan are currently attached to. And though I’m loathe to wear out the Tracy Jordan thing (and I’m no fan of Knoxville), I have to say: When I read the logline for this comedy, it felt like the perfect movie for Knoxville and Morgan. I could see the movie in my mind, and though it wore very thin by the third act, the first two acts are sublimely, nonsensically hilarious. Here’s the logline: Picture this movie in your mind and tell me it’s not perfect for these two:

It’s about two flat-ass broke, hapless, down-on-their-luck guys who decide to hire themselves out as hitmen to someone who needs to knock off an old man. Assuming it will be an easy job, and that the old man already has one foot in the grave, the two are surprised to learn that the old man is basically Clint Eastwood, and he’s not going down without a fight.

They’d never get Eastwood, but if they did, and if they somehow conned Tina Fey into writing the script, it could be one hilariously awesome movie. My guess, however, is that whoever they get to script the movie (it’s currently out to writers) would offer little more than a sketchy outline that Knoxville and Morgan would fill in with self-abuse and non-sequiturs. And you know the old man is going to be racist, at least in Morgan’s mind.

It feels like there’s actually some comedic potential for that premise, at least with these two particular actors.

In other news, while we know that the Knoxville/Morgan comedy is in the early stages of development, Cinemablend has uncovered a rumor about Tracy Morgan that sounds so completely far-fetched that it might just turn out to be true. According to their source, Universal is discussing the idea of a Jaws remake because, you know: Why not? And it would obviously be in 3D, because that’s what studios do now. And it’s not like the Jaws sequels haven’t already shat on that sacred ground several times over (including a spectacularly awful 3-D movie in 1983). And while a Jaws remake isn’t a particularly surprising development, the approach that they’re taking — according to the source — might be. It would be a more comedic take on the original, and at least at some point, Tracy Morgan was considered for the Matt Hooper part, originally played by Richard Dreyfus.

Terrible idea? Maybe. But then again, Tracy Morgan wildly over-reacting to a racist shark? Well, there might be something there. And while it’s easy to dismiss ridiculous rumors like this, you can never, ever rule out the retarded depths that Hollywood might go to turn a buck. Remember: They’re making a huge, big budget movie about the Battleship board game — does a 3D Jaws movie with Tracy Morgan sound so ridiculous now?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.