With his HBO special “Rothaniel” continuing to attract audiences, Jerrod Carmichael is on a hot streak. But even during Carmichael’s current rise, there are several projects he’s admitted he’s had to put aside. In a recent interview with GQ, he discussed that “I love getting rid of irons [in the fire]” and at least two high-profile projects on Carmichael’s docket are not going forward. (Read IndieWire’s recent interview with Jerrod Carmichael here.)
One of them was a proposed remake of the 1982 feature “48 Hours” Carmichael was cowriting with Josh and Benny Safdie. The project was announced back in 2017 after the Safdies released their feature film “Good Time.” Carmichael would have also starred in the movie, which tells the story of a cop and a convict who team up to catch a pair of cop-killers.
The title refers to the fact that one of the characters, a former cop serving time for armed robbery, is released from prison for 48 hours in order to help solve the murders. The original film was directed by Walter Hill and starred Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy; Carmichael would have played the Murphy role. Carmichael said while this particular project isn’t happening, he and the Safdies continue to spitball on new ideas.
Another project that isn’t moving forward is a Django/Zorro feature proposed to him by Quentin Tarantino. Carmichael said in the interview that a big reason the project died was the budget. “Quentin’s a lunatic who I love, and I’m happy that I got to spend the time. We saw exploitation flicks at the New Beverly, he read me scenes that never made it to his movies, that he had typed out, in his kitchen after making fresh-squeezed lemonade for me. It was really special. It’s actually an incredible, incredible script that came in from that Django/Zorro that I would love for Sony to figure out, but I realize the impossibility of it. But I still think we wrote a $500 million film,” Carmichael told GQ.
The idea was announced back in 2019 taking place several years after the events depicted in Tarantino’s 2012 film, “Django Unchained.” The story would have followed Django (played in 2012 by Jamie Foxx) after he has settled down with his wife, Broomhilda (played by Kerry Washington), with Django meeting the legendary Zorro and teaming up with him to free local indigenous people from slavery.
In the meantime, outside of “Rothaniel,” Carmichael has his narrative feature “On the Count of Three” out this month. Carmichael plays a frustrated young man in a suicide pact with his unhinged buddy (Christopher Abbott). The film originally premiered at Sundance in 2021.
“Rothaniel” can now be streamed on HBO.