The 1974 comedy Uptown Saturday Night, directed by and starring Sidney Poitier, is getting a 21st Century makeover thanks to Warner Bros., and Nicholas Stoller of The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall fame has now come on board to do a rewrite. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) is set to helm the remake with Will Smith and Denzel Washington in talks to star. The original Poitier film followed Steve Jackson (played by Poitier) as a blue-collar steel mill worker who is convinced to go to a party on the first Saturday of a two-week long vacation by his friend Wardell Franklin (Bill Cosby). Also starring in the film is Harry Belafonte and comedic legend Richard Pryor. A first draft of the film was penned by Timothy Dowling who previously wrote Role Models and This Means War. According to Variety, McKay is
adamant about this being his next film, and Will Smith and Denzel Washington are “committed to getting the film off the ground,” with the goal to start production in the summer. Apparently if both stars don’t sign off on the newest draft, production on the film will be virtually impossible due to the two mega-stars difficult shooting schedules. If the film happens it will be sort of a return to roots for Will Smith, who hasn’t starred in a straight forward comedy since 2006’s Hitch and has never been affiliated with behind-the-scenes comedy legends as big as McKay and Stoller on the big screen, ever. This could be breath of fresh air for the former Fresh Prince who has been chasing that Independence Day/Men in Black blockbuster spotlight that made him a household name in the mid-nineties after films like Hancock and After Earth that haven’t performed as well.
Stoller is hoping that his draft will be done within the next month. Check out the trailer for the original film below, and sound off in the comments on which of the two actors you’d like to see take over each role.