Hot off the announcement that Adam McKay and crew are finally going to make Anchorman 2 comes word that the director has another project in the works, this one a strange choice for a filmmaker mostly known for absurdist comedies starring Will Ferrell. Deadline Coconut Grove is reporting that, after McKay finishes up shooting on the next Anchorman film, he’s negotiating to begin work on a remake of the 1974 Sydney Poitier film Uptown Saturday Night.
For those of us whose memories don’t go all the way back to 1974, Uptown Saturday Night was a comedy that Poitier starred in himself, alongside Bill Cosby, that saw the two of them playing in over-their-head everymen faced with the task of hunting down some shady criminal types. On a whim, the duo go to a seedy nightclub where their wallets are promptly robbed by some thug types. Problem is, one of the wallets contains a winning lottery ticket, so the freaked-out friends have to do whatever it takes to get their property back.
In addition to Poitier and Cosby, the original also featured a cast full of names like Richard Pryor, Harry Belafonte, and Flip Wilson. So any McKay-directed remake is going to have to assemble quite the cast to live up to the source material. To that end the studio is reportedly negotiating with Will Smith and Denzel Washington to play the two lead roles. Smith and Washington aren’t quite Poitier and Cosby in the grand scheme of things, but if they are able to be successfully signed for the film, that would be two of the biggest stars on the planet, bar none, finally getting the chance to work together.
Sign on the Anchorman crew as the gang of street toughs, and this could be a project that has some real sideshow appeal. Or, at the very least, McKay needs to call up Tom “Tiny” Lister. That guy doesn’t get enough work playing huge, crazy dudes these days.