*Kevin Hart’s next film role could very well put the funnyman in different waters.
Indiewire.com reports that Hart has been cast in the American remake of the award-winning French blockbuster “d’Intouchables” (released as “The Intouchables” in the States). The entertainer will star opposite Colin Firth (who will play the part originated in the French film by Francois Cluzet).
Among those Hart beat out for the role were Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock and Idris Elba, who were all reportedly on the short list of actors considered to play the lead role in the remake, which will be directed by Paul Feig. Despite previous reports, The Weinstein Company’s co-founder Harvey Weinstein offered no confirmation on the shortlist.
News of Hart’s casting was revealed Wednesday (Oct. 1) on the French radio program Radio Shalom by Olivier Nakache, one-half of the pair that directed the original French film, according to French media sites. Based on a real life story, “d’Intouchables” centers around the relationship between a wealthy white aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, and the young “street-tough” black man he hires to take care of him.
Hart has been cast in the role that was previously played by Omar Sy. Indieire notes that Sy’s performance in “d’Intouchables” made him an international star and resulted in him winning the Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscars) in 2012 for Best Actor.
Hart’s casting comes two years after plans for the “d’Intouchables” remake was announced. During that time, rights to the film’s American remake were acquired by The Weinstein Company.
In an interview with Elvis Mitchell after the remake was announced, Weinstein addressed questions regarding his company’s approach to recreating Sy’s Senegalese character for American audiences, versus the real life man the actor played in the film, who is Algerian.
“Originally, the intention was to have a black actor do it, but you talk about immigration, and the whole Latino thing that’s happening right now, it’s opened up our eyes, and obviously there’s an explosion of thought,” Weinstein said as far as how the issue of immigration could factor into the remake.
“In that way it could be a political film… the president decided to grant special status to people who live in this country… it felt like it could be a way into the story that you never thought about,” Mitchell replied as Weinstein agreed that the remake could be, as Indiewire noted a “political film,” with some aspect of the immigration debate incorporated.