A strange event has occurred in Hollywood: Kevin Smith is directing a movie, but it was written by someone other than himself.

The cinematic auteur of "Clerks," "Chasing Amy," "Dogma" and, most recently, "Zach and Miri Make a Porno," has previously gone on record that he considers himself a better screenwriter than director, but Warner Bros. thinks otherwise.  Variety reports the studio has recruited him to direct Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan in the buddy flick "A Couple of Cops."

Originally titled "A Couple of Dicks" (now that's more in line with Smith's previous work), the trade describes the Robb and Marc Cullen screenplay as a comedy "centered on a pair of cops who track down a stolen baseball card, rescue a Mexican beauty and must deal with gangsters and laundered drug money."  (Do you smell rewrite?)

Notably, this is not the first time Smith directed another writer's work.  Two years ago he helmed the pilot for the CW's "The Reaper."

Willis will be seen next in the Sci-Fi thriller "The Surrogates" for Walt Disney Studios.  Smith and Willis appeared on screen in the 2007 hit "Live Free or Die Hard."

Morgan, who found a home on the Emmy-winning "30 Rock," is also expected to star in the remake of "Death at a Funeral" for Screen Gems and Sidney Kimmel.

No word on when production of "Cops" is scheduled to begin.

[Editor's note: Smith deserves a shot at a big studio picture after the Weinstein Co. completely and utterly botched the release of "Zach and Miri," one of the best comedies of last year and clearly Smith's best flick so far.]

 

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