A scene from Screen Gems' "Think Like a Man." (Alan Markfield / Sony Pictures…)
It’s hardly been a secret that Sony Screen Gems has wanted to get going on a sequel to “Think Like a Man.” The studio finally made it official today, saying it’s moving ahead with a second film, hiring Keith Merryman and David A. Newman to write the script. The writing team, who also wrote “Friends With Benefits,” penned the original “Man” film.
Produced by Will Packer, “Think Like a Man” was a groundbreaking African American ensemble comedy, grossing more than $91 million in the U.S. after its theatrical opening in April. That made it one of the year’s most profitable comedies, as it only cost a rock-bottom $12 million. Almost as importantly, “Think Like a Man” just squeezed past Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail,” which earned $90.5 million, giving the Screen Gems film some serious bragging rights in terms of box-office triumphs in the black comedy field.
Screen Gems isn’t saying whether Kevin Hart will be back in the sequel, though it’s almost impossible to imagine the film going forward without him, especially because he stole virtually every scene he had in the film, which costarred a host of gifted African American actors, including Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Terrence Jenkins. Hart won’t come cheap this time around, as he’s been fielding offers from several studios eager to put him into an action-comedy.
The studio also was mum about whether Tim Story, the original film’s director, would be on board for the sequel. Story, who had his first success with “Barbershop,” has also become a hot commodity with studios who are eager to get him into the director’s chair for various potential comedy projects.
Hart has already signed on for another Screen Gems film, a remake of the 1986 film “About Last Night,” that itself was a re-interpretation of the David Mamet play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” I have to admit that it seems odd that Screen Gems is going forward with both projects, as they are both clearly comedies about a group of friends with romantic entanglements.
This being Hollywood, where black stereotypes die hard, it remains to be seen whether “About Last Night” will be a remake with an all African American cast, or whether Hart, who is reprising the Jim Belushi part from the original film, will simply play the role of a white couple’s very funny black friend.
Neither the sequel to “Think Like a Man” or the remake of “About Last Night” has a firm release date yet.
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