A remake of the classic buddy comedy Uptown Saturday Night starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby has been in the works since 2012. The original iteration of the project would have had Denzel Washington and Will Smith taking the lead roles, Adam McKay (Anchorman, Vice) behind the camera, and Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) on the script. But now the project has Kevin Hart in one of the lead roles, and a new director has just signed on.
The Hollywood Reporter has word that Rick Famuyiwa is the new director for the Uptown Saturday Night remake. This comes after the Dope and Confirmation filmmaker walked away from tackling The Flash (which probably sounds like it was the best decision after recent developments), but Warner Bros. Pictures was still able to keep him around with this project.
At one time, Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee was being lined up to helm the remake, but he ended up taking over the reins of another Warner Bros. project, the sequel to Space Jam starring LeBron James. Get Out director Jordan Peele was also offered the film, but he ended up turning it down along with some other high profile projects.
If you’ve never seen the original Uptown Saturday Night, here’s the official synopsis:
Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin sneak out of their houses to visit Madame Zenobia’s: a high-class but illegal nightclub. During their visit, however, the place is robbed and they are forced to hand over their wallets. Steve’s wallet turns out to have contained a winning lottery ticket, and together they must recover their stolen property.
That sounds like something which would have been amazing in the hands of the original filmmakers and stars. But I can’t help but think putting Kevin Hart in this movie is kind of a step down. Hopefully the hiring of Rick Famuyiwa will spice things up a bit and keep it from being a typical Kevin Hart comedy vehicle. It helps that Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the most recent draft of the script and is producing. Plus, Will Smith is still on board to produce with James Lassiter through their Overbrook Entertanment production banner, and Hart is producing with John Cheng through HartBeat.
There’s no release date for Uptown Saturday Night yet, but we’ll keep you posted, especially once Warner Bros. figures out who will star opposite Kevin Hart. Is there any chance Donald Glover could get in on this? Or maybe Hannibal Buress? Maybe they’ll take a cue from the original movie and go with a more dramatic actor like Chadwick Boseman Daniel Kaluuya. Stay tuned.
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