Kevin Smith Explains How 'A Couple of Dicks' Became 'Cop Out'
by Alex Billington
December 24, 2009
The trailer for Kevin Smith's new comedy Cop Out with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan just hit last night. The title of the original script was A Couple of Dicks, which is clever, but sadly too offensive for some. At one point it almost became A Couple of Cops, but the trailer confirms that it's officially Cop Out now, which is a "cop out" of its own. Anyway, Kevin Smith spoke with Entertainment Weekly and gave them the lowdown on the name change, including why it happened and other alternatives. "Look, losing A Couple of Dicks was almost akin to losing my own dick. It was a perfect buddy-cop movie comedy title. Everyone knew it."
You should read the whole story on EW.com, as Kevin's stories are awesome. Here are the important parts:
Warner Bros. decided, "Hey man, we'll call the networks and see if we're going to get any problems [with A Couple of Dicks as a title], months before the movie's ever going to come out." The top 3 networks — CBS, ABC, NBC — said we can't run one of your spots before 9 o'clock.
I'm like, "Well what about Inglourious Basterds?" And I guess, because of the spelling, they got away with it. So we were like, "Can we call it A Couple of D.I.C.s?" Because that's the proper acronym for detectives, Detective In Charge. And [the networks] kicked that back as well. It was the pluralizing of any form of dick, whether it was d-i-c-k or any derivation.
It always sickens me to hear this. We can say "damn" and "ass" on TV, but not "dicks"? What the hell, FCC?
All credit due to Warner Bros., they tried really f—ing hard to score that title. It just came down to a point blank choice of run a campaign where you're not going to be able to advertise on the big three networks before 9 o'clock, or run a campaign where there are no hindrances. I came from a world where you play the ball where it lays.
And considering this is Warner Brothers' film, not Kevin Smith's, he let them make the decision this time.
I don't want it to be A Couple of Cops. That just seems like we didn't even try! We went from a really clever title to the least clever title of all time. I was like, "God that title is going to feel like such a f—ing cop out." And [the producer] goes, "We should just call the movie that."
I liked it because it sounds like exactly what we set out to be: An '80s buddy cop movie, without sounding like Loaded Weapon, or some such s—. But more importantly, to me, the title tells the story of what happened to our other title. I think it's kind of ironic. It's win-win.
Do you agree that it's win-win? Or is it just a lame cop out? I didn't have a problem with Zack and Miri's name change (they removed "Porno" from that). Same with this - I don't really have a problem. I think it's an okay name, I just hope audiences pick up on it. A Couple of Dicks would've been much more memorable, that's for sure, but maybe this will stick as well. "For 100 percent of the potential audience for this movie, I would say 0.5 percent knows that we were once called A Couple of Dicks." That's probably true, however, I'm not worried about the title, I'm worried about the negative reaction to the trailer. So what do you think?