How Director Tim Story Helped Kevin Hart Come Up With the Idea for ‘What Now?’
When Kevin Hart was brainstorming ideas for his third concert film, “Kevin Hart: What Now?,” “Ride Along” director Tim Story was the person he turned to.
“He told me to come to the first show which was in San Antonio, Texas, and I saw his intro, which was a 007 thing and I said, ‘Why don’t we expand on that? A spoof of James Bond,” Story told TheWrap he suggested to the comedian.
“Kevin Hart: What Now?” is based on the actor’s 2015 comedy stand up tour. Leslie Small directed the comedy portion of the film, while Story helmed the skit of the film — a spoof of James Bond, which featured the ultimate modern day Bond girl, Halle Berry.
TheWrap: How did this movie come about? What kind of production goes into a film like this?
Tim Story: It’s fun, knowing that I kind of stick to my same guns, because I do the skit and Leslie [Small] did the concert part so it’s a little easier. This is our third time. The idea came out of what Kevin had already created in his stand up show. He told me to come to the first show, which was in San Antonio [Texas] and I saw his intro, which was a 007 thing and I said, “why don’t we expand on that? A spoof of James Bond.”
Why was the production budget so high? I always love to tell people the movie was shot in like eight days but that’s including the concert, helicopter and car stuff. When I look at that, we definitely got the bang for our buck.
How did Halle Berry come on board? Once we decided to do the spy spoof, immediately, we started talking about Bond girls and one of the most famous Bond girls is Halle Berry. We both knew her, but Kevin just said, “I’m gonna call Halle Berry.” I was like “c’mon man, you’re not gonna get Halle Berry.” But he did — he knows everyone in the world and can talk to people and how he can get people to do things is a testament of his talent.
Tell me about your first-ever meeting with Kevin My agents called me and said, “this guy Kevin Hart wants your number.” I said, “Give it to him immediately!” but they were like, “Wait a second, who is this guy? Should we know him?” I told them they shouldn’t know him but they will know him, that he’s probably the next star. Me and Kevin met at a breakfast place in Santa Monica and sat there and immediately got along.
How has he changed as a performer? We always laugh at this — we are starting to see he knows my job too well and it makes me mad. He knows about my camera and lenses, and he’s just a student of that. I know without a doubt that Kevin will be directing his own [movie]. He’s too busy to do many, but he’s definitely going to be directing one or two of his own. He’s just become so savvy … and he’s learning more and more about filmmaking process to the point where he’s an expert.”
Do you have anything else lined up with Kevin? What are your other upcoming projects? We’re always working on stuff. There are the obvious things like “Ride Along 3” and we’ve talked everywhere from whether we should extend this skit to be a feature too, and we’ve got smaller indie films that we’re looking at doing. [But] right now, we don’t have anything we are doing immediately.
What’s the update on “Ride Along 3?” We’re writing the script right now, I’m waiting to see some pages and we’re excited for the idea and bringing Kevin and Ice Cube back together. I’m impatiently waiting for a script. We have some great ideas.
Is there a role for Kevin Hart in “Humbug?” It’s funny, we messed around for a second. We talked about him being the ghost. There’s a chance that Kevin might show up in it …
Would you ever direct another superhero movie after “Fantastic Four” and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”? I don’t know … I liked what I went through with the first. At the center of it was a family, that’s what brought me to that project, but I’m not an action director. I like comedy, I like people and I like those situations. I’m not sure if I will find another property that brings that type. Would I like to? Of course. But I’m not sure if I will. I kind of like where I am.
When Gisele [Bundchen] walked across the stage at the Olympics, were you like, “yeah she was in my movie” I always kind of smile a little bit because to have worked with Gisele [in “Taxi”]. She was so freaking cool. She’s like a guys’ girl. I remember working with her and how much fun she was. She was so game to do whatever. One time, a stunt driver was supposed to come around a corner in an M3 [BMW] and the guy wasn’t going fast enough and Gisele was like “let me do it, I own a couple of them.” She grabs the M3 and just whips around the corner — so she’s also a stunt driver! This girl is just so talented, and so cool to work with, so I do kind of smile to myself. It is one of the highlights of my career just working with her.