With apologies to Batman and Robin, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are Hollywood’s reigning dynamic duo, at least when it comes to high-concept comedies. Two years ago, their first pairing, Central Intelligence, earned more than $200 million worldwide, and December’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle quadrupled that amount, kissing the billion-dollar mark. Despite the dramatic success, Hart is, shockingly, ready to move on.
“I’m not working with the Rock no more,” Hart reveals exclusively to Yahoo Entertainment. Instead, he’s hitching his wagon to another comic hero: Tiffany Haddish, his co-star in the new comedy Night School. (Watch our video interview above.)
In the Malcolm D. Lee-directed film, which opens in theaters on Friday, Hart plays a barbecue-grill salesman in the midst of a career transition — one that requires the high school diploma he never received. So he enrolls in after-hours classes taught by Haddish’s tough-minded instructor, and their teacher-pupil relationship generates instant tension, not to mention comic chemistry. “We’re going to change my name to the Pebble,” the Girls Trip star jokes about their fledgling super-team. “Hart and Pebble, that’s what it is,” Hart confirms.
In fact, Hart and Pebble already have their next project lined up: Central Intelligence 2, a scene-for-scene remake of the original with Haddish — sorry, Pebble — re-creating the Rock’s performance. “I’m getting thick right now so I can turn all of this into muscle” she boasts. Hart takes credit for his co-star’s sudden interest in bodybuilding. “I said, ‘You don’t have to be him, but you have to embrace his shape.'”
OK, OK: If you haven’t guessed by now, these two jokers are just putting us on. While Hart and Haddish loved working together, the Hart-Johnson partnership is far from over. (After all, $962 million at the global box office ensures they’ll both be back for another round of Jumanji.) Still, the Rock had better watch his back, because the Pebble has a list of challenges where she can best her rival. “I can beat him in double dutch, I can beat him in acting, I can beat him in singing, I can beat him in dancing — I can definitely beat him in running, because he’s way big.” And, as Haddish handily demonstrates, she can also beat Johnson in eyebrow-raising, which makes her the real people’s champion.
Night School is in session beginning Friday.
Watch the trailer:
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