“Cop Out” – First. Poor Seann William Scott. Not only does his name have 3 first ones, but he doesn’t even have first billing in “Cop Out.” Tracy Morgan, a genius comedic perfomer, no doubt, and a former “Saturday Night Live” star has equal billing in the movie opposite Bruce Willis. Poor Seann William Scott, whom Wild About Movies first interviewed in 1999 for his first starring role in “American Pie.”
In the movie “Cop Out” – originally entitled “A Couple of Dicks” – two longtime NYPD partners (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Jimmy (Bruce Willis) is the veteran detective whose missing collectible is his only hope to pay for his daughter’s upcoming wedding, and Paul (Tracey Morgan) is his “partner-against-crime” whose preoccupation with his wife’s alleged infidelity makes it hard for him to keep his eye on the ball.
Kevin Smith’s own words as to why the movie “A Couple Of Dicks” had its title changed to “Cop Out” :
“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. So my feeling was like, it’s an R-rated movie, so who the f- are we talking to anyway before 9 o’clock? Warner Bros’s feeling was like, “Hey man, we have to advertise to the sports audience on Saturday and Sunday and all those sporting events usually take place before 9 p.m. in the evening.” At which point, I was like, “Oh wow, you guys are way smarter than me.
So for months now, they’ve always had A Couple of Cops as kind of this fallback thing – a placeholder, essentially. And then all of a sudden, one of the producers of the movie was like, “Hey they’re locking the title, because the trailer is going to be put on Sherlock Holmes.” And I was like, “This is an abundance of wonderful and horrible information.” I want to be on Sherlock Holmes because everyone on the planet will probably go see it on Christmas, but 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” – Kevin Smith