×

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Enlist in ‘Central Intelligence’ For New Line (EXCLUSIVE)

Following the success of Sony’s “Jump Street” franchise, New Line plans to investigate its own buddy action-comedy, enlisting two of Hollywood’s hottest stars: Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Sources confirm to Variety the duo will star in “Central Intelligence,” with “We’re the Millers” filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber directing the movie.

Scott Stuber will produce through his Bluegrass Films banner, along with Peter Principato and Paul Young of Principato-Young Entertainment. “The Hangover” star Ed Helms is exec producing.

The story begins with a class reunion approaching, as a former high school sports star turned accountant (Hart) is contacted by a classmate (Johnson) who was bullied and humiliated back in the day. The “loser” that the accountant remembers is now a CIA contract killer who ropes him into helping foil a plot to sell classified military secrets.

The original “Central Intelligence” writers are ‎Ike Barinholtz and Dave Stassen, with Sean Anders and John Morris writing a subsequent draft and Thurber taking another pass on the latest script.

New Line plans to begin shooting in the spring with Sam Brown and Michael Disco overseeing. Beau Bauman is managing for Bluegrass.

Both Johnson and Hart began teasing a possible team-up over the weekend via Twitter and Instagram.

New Line, based at Warner Bros., has enjoyed success through previous projects with both Thurber and Johnson, and Johnson has a number of jobs lined up at the studio — he is currently attached to return for two more “Journey to the Center of the Earth” sequels and will play Black Adam in superhero pic “Shazam.” He is also set to star in disaster film “San Andreas,” which bows next summer.

Thurber is coming off “We’re the Millers,” which grossed $269 million worldwide.

The movie gives New Line the opportunity to team two of the biggest names in their respective genres in one film. Hart has enjoyed a lucrative year with both “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man Too” striking box office gold. Hart recently finished filming the “Ride Along” sequel and has “The Wedding Ringer” for Screen Gems set to bow on Jan. 16, followed by “Get Hard” with Will Ferrell for Warner Bros., which will open March 27.

Johnson has shown his versatility in his ability to move from action-heavy movies to comedies with ease, and “Central Intelligence” looks set to combine both genres. The star’s most recent pic was “Hercules,” which has grossed $242 million at the worldwide box office, and he can next be seen in “Fast and Furious 7,” which bows in April. On the small screen, Johnson will executive produce and star in “Ballers,” a half-hour comedy that HBO recently picked up to series.

He is repped by WME and The Garcia Companies. Hart is repped by UTA and 3 Arts.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners’' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

  • Refugees from the besieged Muslim enclave

    Sarajevo’s True Stories Market: Documenting the Atrocities of War

    Reconciliation and dealing with the tragedies of the Yugoslav Wars has been a major focus of the Sarajevo Film Festival and its CineLink Industry Days event in recent years. The True Stories Market, launched in 2016, aims to connect filmmakers with organizations that are researching and documenting the Yugoslav Wars that spanned 1991 to 2001 [...]

  • Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’

    Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ Wins Top Prize in Sarajevo

    “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” Bosnian director Ena Sendijarević’s coming-of-age story about a teen raised in the Netherlands who returns to Bosnia to visit her ailing father, won the top prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival Thursday night, earning the Amsterdam-based helmer the coveted Heart of Sarajevo Award. The jury heralded the “beautifully photographed, acted, scripted [...]

  • Khadar Ahmed - BUFO - photo

    Bufo Sets Key Cast for Co-Production ‘The Gravedigger' (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —   Actor Omar Abdi, who starred in the Ahmed-scripted short “Citizens,” and actress Yasmin Warsame, who made her name as a Canadian model, will topline romantic-tragedy “The Gravedigger,” the latest big screen project from Bufo, the Helsinki-based outfit behind Berlinale winner “The Other Side of Hope.” The film follows a Djibouti gravedigger [...]

  • Jacobs Ladder Movie 2019

    Film Review: 'Jacob's Ladder'

    It’s understandable that someone would want to remake “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1990 head-trip thriller about a Vietnam veteran haunted by fragmentary nightmare visions. I was far from alone in finding the original to be an overwrought but rather thin “psychological” horror film that was more punishing than pleasurable. And it wasn’t exactly a hit, [...]

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

  • 'Weathering With You' Heads for $100

    'Weathering With You' Heads for $100 Million Box Office Haul

    Makoto Shinkai’s animated romantic drama “Weathering with You” passed the JPY10 billion ($94 million) mark in Japan on Wednesday, according to an announcement by distributor Toho. This makes it the tenth-highest earning Japanese film of all time. Since its release on July 19 on 448 screens in 359 complexes, the film has racked up 7.52 million admissions. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content