Comedian booking roles after success of stand-up special
With two movies coming out before the end of the month, comedian Kevin Hart is on a roll, and now he’s circling Alcon Entertainment’s long-gestating “Con Ed,” a fish-out-of-water comedy that “Drumline” helmer Charles Stone III has come aboard to direct.Alcon hasn’t made a formal offer yet to Hart, but both sides have been talking about working together on the project, which has not yet been greenlit and is not yet on a fast track to production. “Con Ed” would reteam Hart with his “Think Like a Man” producer Will Packer, who would produce with Alcon toppers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, as well as Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust. John Stockwell and Steven P. Wegner would exec produce. Story follows two convicts who escape from prison during a hurricane and hide out at a local college where they pose as students in a fraternity. Hart is eyeing the role of a small-time crook who serves as the brains of the operation. Abdul Williams (“Lottery Ticket”) rewrote the current draft based on a screenplay by Stephen Leeds and BenDavid Grabinski. Alcon acquired Leeds’ original spec script back in February 2007. Hart made waves late last year with the surprise box office success of his stand-up docu “Laugh at My Pain,” which in addition to having the largest debut for such a concert pic since 2002′s “Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat,” also earned the most of any film opening at fewer than 100 locations since “Chicago” in 2002. “Pain” grossed nearly $8 million, and Hart’s sold-out arena tour grossed $15 million nationwide thanks to his sizable following on Twitter and Facebook. Hart, whose Screen Gems pic “Think Like a Man” opens next weekend, also appears alongside Emily Blunt in Nicholas Stoller’s upcoming Universal comedy “The Five-Year Engagement.” Stone last directed the 2004 Bernie Mac vehicle “Mr. 3000.” UTA reps Stone and Hart, who is also repped by 3 Arts Entertainment.