EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired Ride Along out of turnaround from New Line and the studio has set a late October production start with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube starring, and Tim Story directing. The comedy, which has drafts from scribes that include The Dictator co-star Jason Mantzoukas, will get a rewrite from the scribe team of Matt Manfredi & Phil Hay.
The film will be produced by Cube Vision’s Ice Cube, LBI Entertainment’s Matt Alvarez with Rainforest Films’ Will Packer, and by Larry Brezner. The project had languished at New Line, partly over trying to figure out the leads, but Universal was ready to move quickly in reteaming Story, Hart and Packer after Think Like A Man, a sleeper hit that has grossed $91 million domestic for Screen Gems. Hart will play a second-grade teacher who is ready to get married, but first he must survive a Training Day-like ride-along experience with his fiancee’s tough cop brother, who doesn’t want the marriage to happen and tries to scare off the suitor.
Cube’s coming off 21 Jump Street and Cube Vision is near a production start on Straight Outta Compton. Packer just wrapped No Good Deed with Idris Elba starring for Screen Gems. All of the participants are repped by UTA, which put together this package, and the Universal execs on the picture are Scott Bernstein and Peter Cramer. Cube’s managed by Jeff Kwatinetz, Hart by 3 Arts and Story by Field Entertainment.