Tika Sumpter, Jay Pharoah, John Leguizamo, Bryan Callen Will ‘Ride Along’ w/ Ice Cube, Kevin Hart

Sparkle-NY-afterparty-Tika-Sumpter-2A long road for this project, which we first reported on in 2009, on the old S&A site.

A recap… amongst the many projects Ice Cube has been attached to in some capacity over the years, both on the big and small screens, is this one, titled, Ride Along, a feature film that was originally set up at Warner Bros, in which Cube was to star in as a rogue cop who tries to break off his sister’s engagement to an upper-crust white psychiatrist, by inviting his future brother-in-law on a ride-along.

The project, initially penned by Greg Coolidge, had already gone through several rewrites, at the hands of different screenwriters, and at the time of our last post on it, was in the hands of relative newcomer, Jason Mantzoukas

Fast-forward 3 years later, with the announcement that Universal Pictures picked up Ride Along out of turnaround from New Line (a Warner Bros subsidiary), and has fast-tracked the project, aiming for an October production start, with Ice Cube still starring, but with some new names attached in front of and behind the camera.

First, Kevin Hart, who’s really hot right now, as his name has come up for a handful of projects since Think Like A Man’s release; he was to co-star with Cube as “a second grade teacher who is ready to get married, but first he must survive a Training Day-like ride along experience with her tough cop brother, who doesn’t want the marriage to happen and tries to scare off the suitor.”

So the “race play” is officially gone, with the suitor now a black man. And also of note, he’s no longer a second grade teacher, but instead has become a high school security guard.

Second, also fresh off the success of Think Like A ManTim Story will direct Ride Along.

Third, also riding high from the success of Think Like A Man, producer Will Packer will co-produce the project via his Rainforest Films banner, with Ice Cube’s Cube Vision, and Matt Alvarez’s LBI Entertainment.

And finally, fourth, the most recent news that Tika Sumpter, Jay PharoahJohn Leguizamo and Bryan Callen have joined the cast as well.

Sumpter will play Hart’s fiancee; Callen will play a wily, undercover cop alongside John Leguizamo; and Pharoah will play a street-smart informant.

Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay have taken over writing duties, and are said to be currently working on a rewrite of the script, after several previous rewrites.

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