Warner Bros. has tapped screenwriter Tim Dowling (Role Models) to rewrite a script for the long-gestating remake of Uptown Saturday Night – the 1974 buddy comedy starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier – with Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin attached to direct/executive produce.
In order to get the remake out of limbo, Warner Bros. and Overbrook Entertainment are apparently pushing for the script to be re-fashioned as vehicle for two A-list stars, with names Denzel Washington and Will Smith being floated at this time.
For those who don’t know, the plot for the 1974 Cosby/Poitier bud-com encompassed the following:
Estranged friends Steve Jackson (Poitier) and Wardell Franklin(Cosby) 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 go on a wild journey to recover their stolen property.
The film was a good bit of fun and still holds up to this very day, in my opinion. The writer of the remake, meanwhile, has a (short) screenwriting resume which includes the upcoming Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston rom-com Just Go With It, and McG’s upcoming spy movie/rom-com mashup, This Means War. Role Models I thought was a surprisingly enjoyable mix of raunch and heart; those aforementioned upcoming rom-com flicks…we’ll see.
Variety reports that this “remake” will be anything but, as it will likely veer away from the plot of the original film in many ways. That leaves me, personally, in a weird place: I want to yell about this being a remake of a film I still think holds up to this day; on the other hand, I want to yell about this NOT really being a remake, but still using the title of the original. I guess you’d call it a “re-imagining,” but still, if they land two stars like Big Will and Denzel will anybody actually care what it’s called – or will they just pile in to see it?
We’ll keep you updated on the status of this new Uptown Saturday Night as development continues.