"Man, Kevin Hart is in EVERY movie these days," remarked one of your more astute friends sometime over the last few months. You nodded, acknowledging both Mr. Hart's seeming ubiquity and your pal's underrated observational skills, but you moved on.
But what if Hart actually was in (almost) every movie? Thus far in 2014, Hart has had a gig a month — "Ride Along" in January, and "About Last Night" in February. What if this is the year the world finally has a Hart? What if, at the very least, he shot a scene or two for every single Hollywood-produced film, even if that scene was eventually cut? It happens more than you probably think.
The following is an exclusive, never-before-seen, completely fictional list of upcoming Kevin Hart roles that were unfortunately — and some would argue blasphemously — left on the cutting room floor.
Hart's role as an abstinence-touting religious zealot was cut from the film because director Lars Von Trier felt Hart's presence "sullied" the thrill of watching 120 consecutive minutes of your favorite celebrities pretending to ejaculate on camera. For his troubles, Hart was issued an apology and a copy of "Nymphomaniac: The Board Game" from Von Trier.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier' (April)
The decision to cut Hart's part — a relationship expert brought in to assuage the sexual tension between Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) — wasn't an easy one, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo felt that the role was inconsistent with the tone of the film, wherein Evans, Johansson and Anthony Mackie beat the hell out of evil people.
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' (May)
Hart was brought on as a new character for two primary reasons: to be a human who comically sympathizes with the cause of the mutants, and one who periodically says the film's title aloud with the purpose of reminding viewers that it does, in fact, make conversational sense. While Professor Xavier showed a particular chemistry with Hart's character Simon Kneecaps, director Bryan Singer realized that the title made about as much sense as the presence of Kneecaps, and Hart was wiped from the movie by his kneecaps, as it were.
'22 Jump Street' (June)
The initial plan was for Hart to become the third member of the Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum detective team, but with Ice Cube reprising his role as Captain Dickson, the existence of Cube and Hart's "Ride Along" from January, and federal law clearly stating that one calendar year "cannot have more than one Ice Cube and Kevin Hart film for fear of rocking the faces of American citizens too intensely," that plan was sadly scrapped.
'Jupiter Ascending' (July)
Hart's perceived inability to master the half-British accent that everyone in the future will have for some reason (he can nail a full British accent, incidentally) rendered his role in the Wachowskis' latest summer blockbuster — as a talking, wisecracking graduate student who befriends the persecuted Mila Kunis and the heroic Tatum — unfortunately moot. A shame, since most who witnessed Hart's eliminated scenes first-hand reportedly believed the film should have been re-titled "Kevin Hart Ascending."
'Fifty Shades Of Grey' (August)
Director Sam Taylor-Wood's decision to bring on an unconventional character not in the original novel was eventually deemed too controversial by the novel's writer (and one of the film's executive producers), E.L. James. Thus, Hart's character, the lawyer hired as the middle-man to negotiate Christian Grey's contract with his, um, girlfriend Anastasia Steele, was scrapped. (Insiders have suggested that the choice to name the character "Kevin Hart" may have been the primary reason for James's negative reaction.)
'Dolphin Tale 2' (September)
On the fourth day of production, Hart abruptly left the set after realizing that dolphins "frighten him on a visceral level." He has not sought pay for his work.
'Paranormal Activity 5' (October)
Hart was acrimoniously dismissed from the set not long after production began when the director reportedly grew tired of Hart constantly reviewing playback and loudly shouting, "Oh, s---!" Hart grudgingly understood the decision, and his request to be the star of "Paranormal Activity 6" is reportedly under serious consideration from producers.
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' (November)
According to sources, there is still "a chance" that Hart's character, "a Capitol police officer with a heart of gold — literally," will remain in the final cut of the highly-anticipated sequel, but director Francis Lawrence reportedly felt Hart's appearances undermined the apocalyptic tone of the film. "Basically, everyone was having too good of a time," said Lawrence.
'The Hobbit: There And Back Again' (December)
Though director Peter Jackson called Hart's already-filmed scenes as the Eye of Sauron "transcendent," he has also admitted that the Eye's place from a plotting standpoint in his upcoming "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" is tenuous at best. Still, Jackson has reportedly promised Hart the starring role in his 17th Hobbit sequel, "The Hobbit: Dead and Loving it," due out in November 2029.