Earlier this year, Screen Rant was invited to Atlanta, GA to visit the set of Paramount's What Men Want, a gender-flipped remake of 2000's What Women Want starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Hidden Figures) and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock, SNL). Sadly, Morgan wasn't on set during our visit, but we made sure to ask producer Will Packer (Girls Trip) about his role.
In the film, Henson is a sports agent who struggles to get ahead in her male-dominated field, but she scores an advantage when she develops the power to hear men's thoughts. She crosses paths with Morgan's character, Joe Dolla, when she tries signing his son to the agency. The father of a young, prospective NBA talent, Joe Dolla is described as a Lavar Ball-like character. He's combative, controlling of his son's career, and wildly unpredictable - a character perfectly crafted to fit Morgan's wheelhouse.
When we spoke with Packer, he mentioned that Morgan and he have "known each other socially for a while" and had "talked about working together," but hadn't yet found the right project. Turns out, What Men Want is that project, and when asked about Morgan's contribution to the film, Packer's responded with high praise:
"You’ve got this huge comedic engine in Tracy Morgan, who comes in and just blows the roof off every scene that he’s in."
Morgan came on to most people's radar when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1996, remaining until 2003. In 2006, Morgan joined fellow SNL-alum, Tina Fey for 30 Rock, where he played the outlandish Tracy Jordan - a role that is a thinly veiled caricature of himself. When 30 Rock ended, Morgan's career seemed ready to skyrocket, but in 2014, he was involved in a serious accident when a tractor-trailer struck his comedy tour's minivan, killing one and seriously injuring himself and others inside the vehicle. Morgan was in a coma for two weeks, undergoing surgeries and eventually a long rehab process. He made his first public appearance in 2015 and even hosted SNL later that year.
Morgan's recovery has been remarkable, and What Men Want is an opportunity for him to prove he's still at the top of his game. Already, the trailer has given audiences a taste of Morgan's Joe Dolla ("I smell toast. Am I having a stroke? Wait! I have toast in my pocket. Whew!") and the character is shaping up to become one of Morgan's best yet.
What Men Want will release January 11th, 2019. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more from our What Men Want set visit!