EXCLUSIVE: After an auspicious directorial breakout on the 2014 comedy Top Five, Chris Rock is getting back behind the camera. He is in negotiations to direct Kevin Hart in Co-Parenting, a Will Packer-produced comedy for Universal Pictures.
Script is being written by Yamara Taylor (black-ish) and the film revolves around a stay at home dad who raises the kids while his star CEO wife serves as the breadwinner. The man finds himself in emotional and public turmoil when his wife kicks him to the curb, and they engage in a bitter divorce and custody battle.
The film is based on an original idea by Rock and Hart. Packer will produce with James Lopez through his Will Packer Productions banner, alongside Hart and his Hartbeat Productions partner John Cheng, and Rock for his Chris Rock Enterprises.
Universal Executive Vice President of Production Kristin Lowe will oversee with Cheng and Carli Haney serving those roles for Hartbeat.
Rock is represented by ICM Partners, Untitled and Morris Yorn Barnes; Hart is repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Schreck Rose; Taylor is CAA , 3 Arts and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Regular collaborators Packer and Hart — whose companies have Universal deals — are coming off the hit Night School. Co-Parenting, which aspires to mix comedy with emotion the way that Judd Apatow and James L. Brooks do so well, gives Hart another opportunity to show his chops as an actor. He’ll next do that in January, when STX releases the Neil Burger-directed The Upside. Hart stars alongside Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman in the remake of French smash Les Intouchables.
Rock is coming off the Adam Sandler Netflix comedy Week Of, where he also released his stand comedy special Tamborine. He recently wrapped Dolemite, the Craig Brewer-directed film that stars Eddie Murphy as the iconic blaxploitation star. He will also be starting in the next season of the FX series Fargo.