As previously reported several months ago, word in and around Hollywood is that there is a remake coming that is sure to peak tons of interest from the African American film movie-lover audience; Uptown Saturday Night seems to be coming to a theater near you!
It seems that the film is moving closer to reality than initially expected with Will Smith and Denzel Washington in the lead roles!
The 1974 film which originally starred Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier (it was also directed by Poitier) might be remade might not come as too big a surprise — back in 2002, Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, purchased the remake rights to Uptown Saturday Night with the hope of putting together an all-star African-American version of Ocean’s 11. At the time, Smith had said he’s spoken to Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence about the possibility of starring.
However, since 2002, the project was basically inactive. There was no public movement on the project. That is, until the middle of December, when Warner Brothers and Overbrook not only put the project back in motion — by putting out a call for a rewrite on an original script from Mark and Robb Cullen (Cop Out) — but by also attaching a name that hadn’t been mentioned in relation to the project yet: Denzel Washington.
After insiders in and around Hollywood stated that Denzel and Will Smith were potentially starring in a remake of Uptown Saturday Night, there was more evidence from an MTV interview last year which seems to suggest that there’s more to this project that a couple of attached names burning up in development hell:
MTV’s Josh Horowitz chatted up Denzel Washington recently, in support of his starring role in this week’s summer action remake “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” When Josh asked Washington if there was a genre he’d never touched, he responded with the news that he’s working on some sort of comedy — maybe with an action bent — with Will Smith.
Of course, even if An Uptown Saturday Night is now a priority for Warner Brothers, it seemed to be something of a long shot, since both Denzel and Will Smith are already attached to three dozen projects between them and because they haven’t even found anyone to rewrite the script, although the fact that there’s already one script (in addition to the original script) suggests that it could be finished in a matter of weeks or months.
Still, the idea of these two Hollywood powerhouses starring in a movie together is more than intriguing, all the more so because it’s a remake of an African-American classic. This is one of those projects that many would like to see happen.
Now, we heard that since scheduling was a problem with Smith as he has Bad Boys 3, Men In Black 3, I Robot 2, Independence Day 2 & 3, and several other films logged in on his schedule and Washington also has several other films lined up, now word is that this film has taken a priority and scheduling has been set for a film date along with casting.
For the unfamiliar, Uptown Saturday Night was a movie about two estranged friends, Steve Jackson (Smith) and Wardell Johnson (Washington), who meet up at a nightclub and get robbed of their wallets. The next morning they discover that one of their wallets contained a winning lottery ticket, and together they must recover their stolen property.
James Lassiter is producing and, currently, David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) is attached to direct, although everything (or nothing) could change up and until the project is officially announced.
Stay tuned as this story develops we will give you the latest news!