Mention the name Chris Rock, and our immediate thoughts likely are going to turn to his stand up routines, his short stint on Saturday Night Live, or that unfortunate event at the Oscars. In the filmmaking community, though, Rock also has established himself as a director over the years, primarily focusing on comedies such as Top Five and Head of State but willing to branch out. Rock turned heads when he starred in a chapter of the Saw saga, and when he signed on the dotted line to direct a film about civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Now he’s lining up yet another directorial effort, one with an Oscar pedigree.
Deadline reports that Chris Rock has agreed to direct an American remake of the Danish hit Another Round. If the title sounds familiar to you, it might mean that you paid attention to the 2020 Oscar race, where the film competed in two categories (including Best Director for Thomas Vinterberg) and won for Best International Feature Film. That’s a fairly high bar for Rock to top, so he must see something in the material that makes him believe he can put a fresh spin on it. The original ranks as of of the best Mads Mikkelsen movies we’ve ever seen, so Rock has his work cut out for him.
Casting will be key to the success of the film. The story follows four teachers who decide to test a theory that maintaining consistent levels of inebriation – even during your work day – stimulates creativity and resourcefulness. Mad Mikkelsen leaned into the role and found the dark humor woven into the text. Some in the comments under the Deadline article already worry that Denmark has a different tolerance for drinking that isn’t native to America, and that frivolity will get lost with an American director trying to translate. Mikkelsen himself weighed in on the remake after it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production house, Appian Way, was backing the remake.
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Where would you put Saw on the list of best Chris Rock performances? We ranked his career, so check it out and see if you agree.
Now there’s an idea. Would DiCaprio want to play the part that Mads Mikkelsen played? Another Round did earn Mikkelsen all sorts of recognition, including a BAFTA nomination. DiCaprio isn’t a straight-up comedian, but his work with Martin Scorsese – particularly in The Wolf of Wall Street – is the kind of comedic commentary that could fit Another Round. The part doesn’t have to go to DiCaprio. But I easily could see him in the Mads Mikkelsen role, if Chris Rock wanted to go in that direction.
Before he gets to Another Round, it’s assumed that Rock will direct the Martin Luther King Jr. movie that he’s doing with producer Steven Spielberg, based on the book King: A Life. More than anything, I’m just thrilled that we are back to discussing Rock’s work, as the shadow of the Oscar slap heard ‘round the world hung over him for too long and affected everything he tried to do. We know that he has a comedy special with Kevin Hart that will be available with a Netflix subscription. And while you wait for Rock’s numerous movies, keep an eye on all of the other upcoming 2024 movies reaching a theater near you.