Jason Cochran
October 25, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

How do you follow writing and directing Dead Man Walking, a critical darling built on Oscar aspirations and sobering social conscience? If you’re the unconventional Tim Robbins, you do a 180 — to team with bad boy Martin Lawrence for… a buddy pic. Steve Oedekerk, the writer-director who gave us Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, landed Robbins to star in Touchstone’s Nothing to Lose, due next July, in which he plays a businessman who is carjacked and then enlists the crook in a plot to exact revenge on his boss. Don’t expect a message. ”I don’t like making statements of any kind. Even if it makes a statement, it won’t be the point,” says Oedekerk, who also wrote this summer’s fat hit The Nutty Professor. Now chewing on a Nutty sequel, Oedekerk has some franchise ideas for Robbins, too: ”I’m bugging Tim to do Dead Man Running, where Sean Penn comes back to life and terrorizes the planet…. ‘Oh, my God! She’s not a nun! She’s an FBI agent!”’

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