Hannibal Lecter + Pootie Tang's Daddy = Box Office Gold?

'Bad Company,' starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock, may determine Rock's future in Hollywood.

Is the world ready to see Hannibal Lecter dishing out advice to Pootie Tang's daddy?

Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock, "Bad Company" promises to deliver the type of cross-culture, cross-generation, cross-whatever action comedy that audiences adored in such flicks as "48 Hours," "Lethal Weapon" and "Rush Hour." Rock and Hopkins' update on the buddy pic premise hits theaters next week.

Rock plays a street hustler who is recruited to stand in when his Harvard-educated, CIA-agent twin brother is killed in the line of duty. He must complete his brother's mission, and in order to do so, he must submit to Hopkins' instruction. The venerable actor's character is on hand to help the surviving twin transform into a more refined, James Bond-esque gentleman in order to convince the "bad guys" that he isn't a phony.

It is well established that the combination of experienced law enforcer and brash criminal upstart makes for exciting movie shenanigans and bankable box office. The bigger question that the release of "Bad Company" poses is whether Rock — whose onscreen teammate has headlined plenty of successful pictures by himself — has the star power to push a movie into blockbuster status.

Though Rock did appear in 1998's "Lethal Weapon 4," his role was small relative to the parts played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Rock also made brief appearances in Kevin Smith's "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Dogma," and of course got his big screen start with a bit role in buddy/mentor Eddie Murphy's 1987 action comedy sequel, "Beverly Hills Cop 2."

Despite the fact that all of those films did well at the box office and that Rock more than proved his dramatic acting chops with a supporting role in 2000's "Nurse Betty," the comedian has yet to prove himself as a movie headliner. Last year's Rock-starrer "Down to Earth" failed to generate much interest from moviegoers.

Whether "Bad Company" sinks or swims will no doubt determine Rock's future — or lack of one — as a heavy hitter in Hollywood. Either way, fans of the comedian's stand-up routines and former television show are legion.

Speaking of Chris Rock's fans, several of them had the opportunity to ask him everything and anything they wanted to for an upcoming "Movie House" "Ask" segment. That episode premieres on June 12. Check the schedule for airtimes.