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Kevin Smith Explains How 'A Couple of Dicks' Became 'Cop Out'

by
December 24, 2009

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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?

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  • Van Castle
    Yeah, I agree. Cop Out works really well for the film. It sucks they couldn't call it A COUPLE OF DICKS, but this way, the audience doesn't walk in with any high expectations. Using the world Dicks, the audience will presume the two cops on display are the biggest, most arrogant jerks of them all, and we'll either miss the expectation, or go beyond it, and that'll ruin the film when it can be truly enjoyable. I rather liked the trailer. It looks a little offbeat, but that's the point. Kevin Smith has had some entertaining films, and some not so much, but this one looks like a decent one. Not to mention I love Bruce Willis, and putting 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan is a plus for me. I'll catch this when it comes out.
  • Cineprog
    Copout is just what it is *just that* :( it the PC lot at it again. tell me whats wrong with a Couple of Dicks it could mean there Both names are Called Dick for short Both Richard, it doesn't mean anything, in this case its a Couple of Cops it begs beleaf when are people going to stop pandering to the PC lot. :(
  • Malkie
    How very typical of the Hollywood pussies. "A Couple of Dicks" is a brilliant title. I'm so glad I live in Paris and don't have to deal with this double-standard bullshit. BTW what's the capital of the Porn Movie Industry? yeah - L.A.
  • Mike van Dike
    Yes, yes, the prudish americans. What were the seven words bleeped out on televisions again? Shit Piss Fuck Cunt Cocksucker Motherfucker Tits ? I'm hoping I offended someone :D
  • beavis
    from what i saw in the trailer, whatever title they use isn't that important. the movie looks very average to me. as far as the title: i don't see any problem with the "a couple of dicks" title. the way it stands it doesn't connote anything sexual. but, when i read that title - (if i hadn't seen the trailer) i took it that it would be about 2 guys named "dick". i think the "a couple of D.i.C.s" would be more appropriate for this movie and can't figure out why it couldn't be used. it's clearly an acronym and that in itself would have generated a curiosity about the film and led to more money being made - which should have made the top executives happy.
  • Buggy166
    witty work around. and cop out works perfectly as it also shows how stupid american network television can be compared to the rest of the world. dicks are the devil.
  • Tra la la la la di da
    I would say it doesn't matter since this won't be some huge hit. Tracy Morgan needs to stay on the couch. As for the title, how stupid is this? Kick Ass will be branded everywhere but a Couple of...even D.I.C.s won't work? I don't really care, seriously, it's a title. It's at least different and not stolen or used before like Avatar. Sorry, had to go there, so yeah who cares. An "e" instead of an "a". So when kids start saying bastard, should they say they meant the "e" version so it's not bad. Network television allows it before 8 so it must be ok.
  • tyrascilee
    Yes...conservatives suck. And politically correct liberals suck too.
  • beavis
    you boobs who are calling amercians "stupid"........mike the dike and buggy166.......where are you 2 from that it's soooooo wonderful? and tyrascilee.........your spamming of bogus, pseudo-intellectual political crap is laughable. all three of you should realize this site is about MOVIES - not a forum for your politcal views that NOBODY cares about.
  • Al
    "It always sickens me to hear this. We can say "damn" and "ass" on TV, but not "dicks"? What the hell, FCC?" What did the FCC have to do with this? It was the major networks who seemed to be at fault with this.
  • http://www.muscletower.com/ Kail
    What alternate dimension did I go to? Back in my world they kept the name as Zack and Miri Make a Porno, not just Zack and Miri
  • Dave Lister, J.M.C.
    I just don't really care about these kinds of arguments anymore. Oh nooooo, they won't let us say "dicks" on TV... so what? Even if they do run Viagra ads every two seconds; which makes the word "erection" one of the most uttered words on television. It's all very silly.
  • http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com Scriptshadow
    "A Couple of Dicks" was the only good thing about this project. Didn't care for the script much at all. I want to hear more about the on-set conflict between Smith and Willis, even though - you know - Willis doesn't get along with anyone anymore.
  • In-Rainbows
    Who cares what the title is? The movie looks horrible. You can call a turd a "sweet delicious pile of goodness" but its still a piece of shit.
  • Chris
    If the great WC Fields movie "The Bank Dick" were being made today would the title be offensive to anyone? Would it need to be changed?
  • Madnezz344
    Fuck that they should have been able to call it what ever they liked. I mean Dick Tracy didn't seem to offend no one.
  • Dave Lister, J.M.C.
    You will never win by messin' with the fellas at the freakin' FCC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NDPT0Ph5rA
  • Daniel
    I crawl go see A Couple of Dicks. But I would walk slowly to Cop Out. Sounds like a PG title if you ask me.
  • Daniel
    I meant "I would crawl to go see A Couple of Dicks if I had too." and so on.
  • http://www.dlmentertainment.com DLM Entertainment
    @4 the list was expanded to include Fart, Turd, and Twat....and about 6000 others if you've ever seen Carlin at Carnegie. By the way, you could call this movie rancid piece of turdish fuckitude because that's what I'm getting from the trailer.
  • optic junkie
    I have to say "dick" is probably my favorite "swear" word and I would've loved to have that been the title. (The use of it in the first X-men made the movie for me.) But we live in America, land of the uptight, so that's the way it goes. Saw the trailer for the first time tonight and I think it looks funny, plus the fact that Kevin Smith's makes it a "go see it" for me. And Bruce Willis will be great, since he never takes himself too seriously. Who else could pull off an 80's buddy cop movie spoof?

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