EXCLUSIVE: Everyone seems to have an opinion about whether Tracy Morgan can be a dramatic actor. He's certainly used to shrewd effect on "30 Rock," where as the oblivious, pampered celebrity Tracy Jordan, Tina Fey and the show's writers have figured out how to deploy his skills to memorable effect.
But can the actor actually pull off a part in a more dramatic movie? We may not have to wait long to find out. Sources say Morgan is negotiating to join the cast of a crime drama called "Son of No One" that's scheduled to start shooting in New York next month. It's a supporting part, but given the tone, still a notable move for the comedian-actor. (Morgan is coming on instead of Terrence Howard, who was in talks to join the cast but in the end won't star in the film.)Morgan has of course just starred in a film about police officers, but "Son" is hardly "Cop Out" -- it's a gritty drama about a cop assigned to the working-class neighborhood where he grew up. Al Pacino and Channing Tatum star, and Dito Montiel, the director of "Fighting' and "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" (and one of the better chroniclers of the streets currently working) is directing; Holly Wiersma, who's behind the upcoming cop-arsonist thriller "Stone," is producing the film, which WME Entertainment helped package and which Nu Image/Millennium Films will finance.
Morgan turns up in the upcoming "Death at a Funeral," a lighter movie. We have a feeling the deaths, and the funerals, will play a little heavier in "Son."
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Tracy Morgan. Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage