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'Anchorman' Director Adam McKay To Helm 'Uptown Saturday Night' Remake With Will Smith & Denzel Washington

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 26, 2012 at 7:08PM

This is a project that has been in development so long we figured it was simply never going to happen. First picked up way back in 2002 by Warner Bros. as a starring vehicle for Will Smith, the project has been kicked around for over a decade and David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") was long attached to direct. A year ago, there was some fresh movement when "Role Models" scribe Timothy Dowling was brought on to give the script a fresh rewrite, with Denzel Washington now linked to the project. And it was only in March that the writer teased the remake of the 1974 would -- for better or worse -- be in the vein of "The Hangover" in the tone it was aiming for. Hmm...maybe it's going for "The Other Guys" instead?
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Uptown Saturday Night Adam McKay Will Smith Denzel Washington

This is a project that has been in development so long we figured it was simply never going to happen. First picked up way back in 2002 by Warner Bros. as a starring vehicle for Will Smith, the project has been kicked around for over a decade and David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") was long attached to direct. A year ago, there was some fresh movement when "Role Models" scribe Timothy Dowling was brought on to give the script a fresh rewrite, with Denzel Washington now linked to the project. And it was only in March that the writer teased the remake of the 1974 would -- for better or worse -- be in the vein of "The Hangover" in the tone it was aiming for. Hmm...maybe it's going for "The Other Guys" instead?

"Uptown Saturday Night" now has a huge boost as Deadline reports that Adam McKay, yes of "Anchorman" fame, has signed on to direct. Whoa. This certainly raises our interest level in the movie considerably, and his hire fits right in line with both Will and Denzel's desire to try to work with those in the top of their field, whatever genre movie they're working on. If you're doing comedy these days, it doesn't get much better or bigger than McKay. The film is a revamp of the 1974 Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier comedy about two pals who head uptown to track down the crooks who stole their winning lottery ticket. No word yet on how it will been updated, but the original was one of the first comedies to feature black lead actors, and the film was a crossover commercial hit.

But don't get too excited just yet: This one is still a long fucking way off. McKay won't be getting to it until until he's done with "Anchorman 2" which shoots in early 2013 for a 2014 release. So, it will be a while yet before we see the comedy stylings of Smith/Washington, but let's hope McKay coming on finally kicks this thing back to life. 

This article is related to: Uptown Saturday Night, Adam McKay, Denzel Washington, Will Smith


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