×

Kevin Hart Partnering With STX on Two Comedies (EXCLUSIVE)

Kevin Hart is partnering with STXfilms to produce on a pair of comedy movies through his HartBeat Productions with an eye to star in both projects, Variety has learned exclusively.

The announcement comes on the heels of Hart’s solid box office performance in “The Upside,” in which he co-stars with Bryan Cranston. STX’s comedic drama, co-produced with Lantern Entertainment, topped expectations by opening in first place at the North American box office and has generated $47 million in its first 11 days of release.

“STX came in to make ‘The Upside’ the success it is. Their strategy, execution and collaborative approach are perfectly aligned with HartBeat Productions’ values,” said Hart. “It was an easy ‘yes’ when they pitched us two new ideas to produce together.”

The first project is a body switching comedy titled “Black Friday” and based on a story by Doan La. The second is an untitled international romantic comedy that’s looking to attach a writer. Hart and John Cheng, HartBeat’s president of production, will produce both titles. HartBeat’s Carli Haney will oversee with STXfilms’ Drew Simon.

“It’s crystal clear audiences love Kevin and they want to see him in a variety of roles,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms. “This partnership allows STXfilms to take the successful collaboration we started with ‘The Upside’ and extend it to new projects that further build on our mission to work with the best in the business to grow our profitable business model.”

Cheng added, “STX has a proven ability to tell crowd-pleasing, globally appealing stories in the mid-budget sweet spot. When they approached Kevin and me with pitches that we felt we could creatively sink our teeth into, we recognized we were in good hands with an innovative partner that would help us produce two funny and original films with the potential to reach audiences around the world.”

The announcement is another signal that the busy Hart has moved beyond last month’s selection as host of this year’s Academy Awards and his bowing out following controversy surrounding past homophobic tweets. Earlier this month, Lionsgate said Hart had been in talks to star in the studio’s live-action Monopoly movie, which he will also produce through HartBeat Productions.

Hart’s collaborations with Lionsgate include the joint venture Laugh Out Loud channel, the unscripted TV series “Kevin Hart: What the Fit” for YouTube, and the concert film “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain.” His HartBeat Productions produced “Night School,” the TV series “The Next Level,” and “Hart of the City” on Comedy Central.

STXfilms’ upcoming slate of films include “Best of Enemies” “UglyDolls” and “Poms.”

Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. La is represented by the Gersh Agency.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds'6 Underground' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Ryan Reynolds in Talks to Star in 'Dragon's Lair' Film Adaptation for Netflix

    Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce a live-action feature adaptation of the ’80s arcade game “Dragon’s Lair” for Netflix. Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo Entertainment with Trevor Engelson of Underground Films. Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and Jon Pomeroy are also producing. Reynolds will produce through his Maximum Effort production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content