Can Kevin Smith work with a major movie studio? Not the Smith of old, certainly, but what about the writer/director of today, who seems less sure of his approach and direction?

He was recently announced as director of the Robb and Marc Cullen screenplay A Couple of Dicks for Warner Brothers. It’s the first time Smith would direct from a script he didn’t write, and his first project for a major studio. Big names are appropriately on board, as Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan will pretend they’re being directed by Walter Hill in a story Variety says centers “on a pair of cops who track down a stolen baseball card, rescue a Mexican beauty and must deal with gangsters and laundered drug money.”

Studio intervention number one: the film has already been retitled A Couple of Cops, a title more limp than Mickey Rourke after the Oscars. It’s easy to forsee more of this in the future, as Smith doesn’t have the proven earning power to fight Warner Brothers on questions of accessibility.

And since Smith is known for writing rather than his directing chops, where is this thing going to go? I like the idea of him being taken way out of the Weinstein comfort zone, but I can easily forsee this one ending up with a new director within months.