Chris Rock's first two directorial outings (Head of State, I Think I Love my Wife) weren't exactly box office home runs, but there is still a large contingent of his stand-up fans who believe in his unique artistic voice - a voice he has begun to apply to more personal films, particularly I Think I Love My Wife.
Apparently there are major Hollywood players who see the same burgeoning potential in Rock as a filmmaker. This was evidenced recently, as Rock's upcoming third feature found some big-name financiers.
According to Deadline, Rock's next film - which is currently untitled - is being backed by super-producer Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men) and former Fox president Barry Diller, who is also the former CEO of Paramount. Rudin and Eli Bush (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) will produce the film, while Rock will write and star in it.
With that financial backing, Rock is set to shoot his third feature in New York this June. His upcoming effort is described as "an edgy showbiz-themed comedy with romance", and since he wrote the script and will be behind the camera, we can expect some autobiographical elements to make the final cut.
Although Rock may still be far from becoming an established filmmaker, he stands to be much more successful - artistically and monetarily - with the big guns he has in his corner for this project. Diller certainly brings the wealth to the project, while Rudin brings the wealth of experience, with producing credits on The Queen, Fantastic Mr. Fox, There Will Be Blood, The Social Network and No Country for Old Men. He won an Oscar for his work on the latter.
As long as Rock continues to surround himself with talented people and people who have an eye for talent, he will have a much greater chance to hit big with audiences and critics. If you've seen his stand-up, or the short-lived Chris Rock Show, it's hard to deny his skill for storytelling and his ability to deliver side-splitting laughs. However, we'll still have to wait and see if he can translate his humor and voice to this new film.
Production on Chris Rock's next film is expected to begin in June. As always, we'll keep you informed as it continues to take shape.