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Plot Details Revealed For Will Smith/Denzel Washington “Uptown Saturday Night” Remake (Script Complete)

Plot Details Revealed For Will Smith/Denzel Washington "Uptown Saturday Night" Remake (Script Complete)

Last I wrote about this was almost exactly a year ago… an update this morning (courtesy of MTV) says that writer Tim Dowling (This Means War) (who was hired last year to pen the script) has finished and turned it in, and that Will Smith and Denzel Washington are still very much attached to star in the roles originated by Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby in the 1974 film.

Here's what Dowling revealed about his take on the story:

"Will Smith is producing it. He hired me to write it because he liked the script for 'This Mean's War.' He and Denzel Washington grew up loving the original… It’s been a fun one to write, I just turned it in. We’re all hoping it’s something [Washington] wants do… the funny thing is, Will is so funny but hasn’t done a comedy in a while and Denzel I don’t think has ever done a comedy. I think the pairing would be great… David Dobkin is attached to direct it and hopefully we’ll get that going… The best way to describe it is a 'one crazy night' movie but it's not just one night… Both of the main characters are blue collar guys, one doesn’t get a promotion, one’s business isn’t doing great, they go out for a night and get caught up in something they need to find their way out of. It’s similar in tone to 'The Hangover.' I think it will be really fun."

Things that make you go hmmm, right? Obviously, still not a lot to go on here, so I'll reserve comment till we know more. I do like the emphasis on so-called "blue collar guys" though.

Years ago, Will Smith expressed interest in remaking the Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby 70s film, Uptown Saturday Night. However, sadly for Smith, and despite sounding like a possible all-star African American Ocean’s Eleven-style romp, very little actually happened on the project since he acquired the rights, even though Smith had reportedly also talked with Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Denzel Washington about co-starring.

2 years ago, Warner Bros was on the hunt for a writer to rewrite the most recent draft of the script at the time, which was penned by Cop Out’s Mark and Robb Cullen. It looked like the project would surely happen, and was only a matter of when.

A year later, Warner Bros. and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment brought on comedy writer Tim Dowling to rewrite the Uptown Saturday Night script, with David Dobkin (who? Oh yeah, the guy who directed Shanghai Knights and Wedding Crashers) attached to direct.

As an aside… seriously though, these jobs really could have gone to a black writer and a black director, couldn't they? If only to keep it somewhat in the spirit that the first trio of films were made – all 3 directed by Sidney Poitier; 2 written by African American playwright Richard Wesley; the other by Charles Blackwell, also African American.

There certainly are a few of them (writers and directors of African descent) who could use the work, and I think do a serviceable job with the project.

It's one of those films that would be sold mainly on its big name stars, and not who's directing or writing it, so why not give a brotha or sistah a shot?

Anyway… so it goes… moving on… obviously the remake will likely diverge from the original storyline.

Of the 3 in the trilogy, the second, Let’s Do It Again, is by far, my favorite! It still very much holds up today.

Stay tuned…

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Comments

Michele Morgan

Hooray for Will Smith! I feel like African Americans need to learn from the 70's. Remember the so-called "Black exploitation" films? We loved OUR stories being told. Let's just say screw those Hollywood execs! Let's just make our own great films and support each other! I'm with it!!!!

The MAJ of History

Of all the movies to do by our famous Black actors why this?? How about historical black figures such as the Black doctor that tried to save Linclon, Madame CJ Walker, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, black slaves who fought for the south, etc….Spike, where are you on these subjects!!!

I`am Not Mad

S@^T ON WILL SMITH….He will never call a Ms.V. Davis .

Stars

NOOOOOOO. The original is a classic…..pertinent to its time!!! Leave it alone. Hey I know what Will and Denzel could do….do another "Safe House" and let Will play the Ryan Reynolds character!!!! I know they already did that but do a knew passing the torch movie or an edgy detective flick like "Seven" remember!!!! Please NO remake of this!!!!!

Samuel

Too much of a fan of the original to want a remake. Love to see Denzel and Will do something new together. "In Hollywood, nobody wants to be first, everybody wants to be second."

Betty Chambers

Just need to know: will all the "black actresses" pass the paper bag test? 'Cause Will is not gonna have any dark sistas in this flick. Right, right, right?

Oh, wait! It has to be a mainstream, not black, film, so it will probably be devoid of black women like Red Tails!

linda lewy

Im so over the thing of hiring black because of this and that, see the person, not the colour. Morgan Freeman always saying see the heart of the person. Black people will always get the jobs they need, recently ive seen a man who only pays the black and refuses to pay a white guy who started 10 years playing at the festival until the involvement of the blacks 5 years ago, he figures he could pay one more black man, but the truth is that white guy introduced the music of the didgeridoo to the festival and has a history of making it come into being, he should be paid first really and so we got to get back to seeing the person for the heart they are, and the talent they got. What i love about will is that he hires all colours of people, if he didn't i wouldnt be a part of here talking, im about expressing the interest of a whole of people, not about becoming black family ONLY. gO Will we love you!

linda lewy

Will Smith and another black actor will do the film justice. We need more comedies, ive noticed lately that alot of films coming out of hollywood lack comedy and so it is time for a shapeshift into the world of comedy again. I think and feel that will smith is somewhat of a genius to have obtained the rights to this movie and i feel that he has good timing getting dowling on board. What a script This Means War was i absolutely loved it and the whole picture. Anyway its long overdue for will smith to partner washington and should washington deter eddie murphy or lawrence would be great too. chris tucker can hold his own at the moment too and can forest whitaker do comedy, something new for him. I love that actor, but of course will smith is my favourite. He's a egotistical bastard sometimes, nevertheless ive warmed to him over the years, he's got this boyish charisma that makes him palatable even with his gigantic ego.
I think he should go straight into filming after shimaylans or after independence day, forgetting all the other scripts offerred. Its due for this film or independence day. We want box office material so that he can offer more in the philanthropy work and humanitarian, "whilst people are sleeping, im working – will smith". what a guy. i will always love his sheer determination, what a shame i didnt become famous and marry him before pinkett snapped him up, haha, she's quite a gal and those kids are truly something. Well in my next life i will have to hike up the dowry, but until then im concentrating on hitting 110 like sidney, go sidney we want to see you live a long time……Truly i got a wonderful husband, he's close to will, maybe he can hire him for a movie, what do you say smith man, im in the background relaxing and fishing, ha

Reelblack

I agree w/ Tambay… The original Uptown saturday Night is a classic because it so much about the nuances of African-American life. Not to hire Black writers and directors for this one is a misstep.

coolcalm

It's hilarious that the one of the biggest things that stood out to me in the article was the Will Smith actually liked the script to This Means War! I don't know maybe it's better than it looks…

Mark & Darla

Public asks why movies coming out of hollywood are so bad, cause white hollywood keep using the same writers, no fresh imaginative thinking. The whole beginning of updating this classic movie smell stink.

Ava

Very strange, just yesterday, after seeing this movie on Bounce, I had read on Wikipedia that Will Smith's company had optioned the rights to the trilogy! What a coincidence! Professor Richard Wesley was one of my professors and sometime academic adviser while in Grad School. It does irk me to think there might not be a Black screenwriter at the very least, working on this since Prof Wesley wrote both Uptown Saturday Night & Let's Do It Again. It's not as if there are no highly qualified Black screenwriters available. The writers & directors attached to this do not sound very exciting (How did This Means War do critically and financially??).

Nicole

I'm trying to get past this:
"He hired me to write it because he liked the script for 'This Mean's War…'"

Really Will? You liked that script? Ok.

CareyCarey

@ Charles Judson, as usual you've uncovered a few very important business decisions. None of them can be denied. Now lets take a walk down the creative lane. I will be the first to say a "white team" should not put their hands on this. Listen, I am not waving the black flag and the clinched black fist, nor am I crying racism in all it's complexities. However, if and when one does their research on the history of the trilogy, it will soon become apparent that much of their success is a "black" thang. First and foremost the cast was black, led by 2 of the most powerful entertainers of that period, Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. And, most of the cast had worked with the both of them on stage and in movies (they were hand picked). On top of that, the writer actually lived in Sidney's home while he was writing the script for the first installment. Yep, every night he would write upstairs in his room. In the morning he would meet with Sidney to get his input and suggestions. Btw, the writer was a black man. I can go on about this cohesive unit, this bond between the producers, writer and the actors, but I know you see my point. In short, the entire process was a "black" thang. It's my belief (and I've said this many times) that when we casually give/put our stories, our flavor, our humor and our small nuances of who we are in the hands of non-POC's, we are walking a very slippery slope. Racism aside, we are in essence watering down our history and asking for a "lessor" product.

Shola Akinnuso

There are certain times where the director's background really makes a difference. Let's Do It Again totally depends on the flavor they're going for. In my dream world, this would be a Spike-helmed project. However, if the goal is to make a mainstream, culturally innocuous, buddy flick, then it doesn't really matter who the director or writer is. The benefit of having a director that matches the culture of the subject matter is in his choices within the details not necessarily shown in the script. From input on music choices (or in choosing the right music supervisor), to showing background characters engaging in blocking that adds that extra texture to really sell the scene, matching directors and culture – most of the time – is the best way to go if the goal is to sell something genuine.

Zeus

"Of the 3 in the trilogy, the second, Let’s Do It Again, is by far, my favorite! It still very much holds up today." —- Agreed.

Charles Judson

What makes UPTOWN work is that it's a film featuring blue collar-middle class Black folks without being about blue collar-middle class Black folks. It still holds up so well. Having a creative team that was of color would have been welcomed. But, I have three questions. What has development process has been like–so who got to pitch early on? It could be Black writers and directors pitched their takes and none fit, or they got a shot and everyone passed. Two, how much of this has to do with Hollywood's over reliance on returning to the same writers for rewrites and script doctoring because that's who they've used before? It's the safe option of inoculating yourself if the film tanks or if you want to calm the fears of the execs writing the checks. Three, how much of this is no one wanting to admit that if they bring in an all Black cast, a Black director and a Black writer, they'll have a very expensive "Black" movie on their hands? Reminds me of when BOOMERANG came out and it was labeled as an underwhelming performer by many commentators, even though the film did $131 million worldwide on a budget of $42 million, directed by someone Black, with only Eddie Murphy as the bona fide A list star in the cast at time. Which reminds, me it's kind disappointing we only got one Boomerang style film out of Eddie. He might have had a different career path if he had done one or two more romantic comedies.

Quentin

Hollywood has lost their way.

Jason Gilmore

Let's Do It Again is my favorite also. (thought I was the only one who liked it over the other two.) Given Will's consistent track record of not hiring brothers & sisters behind the camera in the past, his finding a white writer & director is not surprising, just disappointing. Nevertheless, I wish this film the best and hope that it becomes a monster hit and a certifiable classic.

Ray

Black director, black writer. Already, the racial politics begin. This is a pet project for will smith. How about we just trust his creative judgement?

CareyCarey

Eye sores!!! Oh, excuse me, I was thinking about commenting on this post but I got distracted by all the busy advertisements and what-nots. Geez, the space for the current posts are shrinking faster than the toes of the Wicked Witch of The West. Hint: Don't sell your soul nor forget where you came from.

ARNEADER

This would be great! I can't imagine Denzel being comedic…but he's an actor.

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