After securing distribution rights at Top Five‘s successful TIFF premiere this past September, Paramount Pictures has just released the debut trailer for the Chris Rock written-directed comedy. The film follows Rock as Andre Allen, a comedian trying to make a career jump into dramatic acting while under the scrutiny of the entire world, as his reality-star fiance (Gabrielle Union, Bring it On) broadcasts their upcoming nuptials on her show. The film also stars Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along) with cameos by comedians Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld. Top Five is slated for a December 12 U.S. release, in the middle of a busy theater season.
The above trailer reveals Allen’s career to be a in a place most likely relatable to many comedic actors, stuck in the shadow of a lackluster film franchise, looking to break out creatively. Whether or not this reflects Rock’s own misgivings or career choices, he seems to deal with the issue head on, adopting the familiar “I don’t feel funny” mindset in a world dominated by comedic audiences only interested in an actor’s “early, funny” filmography. The film seems to play on both sides of the press and celebrity world, with the gimmicky nature of reality television offset by Dawson’s role as a New York reporter challenging Rock.
Seeing as the film has already been embraced by audiences at its festival premiere, Top Five will presumably do well to open doors for more and more complexity in comedic filmmaking and roles, as well as continue Rock’s own move into more serious work. Apropos to Top Five‘s subject matter, Rock’s next film venture will be as writer for High and Low, a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 thriller.