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Will to produce 'Uptown Saturday Night' Remake


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MTV’s Josh Horowitz chatted up Denzel Washington recently, in support of his starring role in this week’s summer action remake “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” When Josh asked Washington if there was a genre he’d never touched, he responded with the news that he’s working on some sort of comedy — maybe with an action bent — with Will Smith. The “Pelham” star didn’t have much more to say than that, though with heavy-hitters like Smith and Washington involved it shouldn’t be long before more emerges.

Washington isn’t being entirely honest though. Anyone who’s seen “Ricochet” knows he can be funny. That was a comedy, right? Head over to MTV.com to catch the rest of MTV Rough Cut: Denzel Washington.



Edited by Ale
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Me 2!!

I've always dreamed of a movie that featured FP, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, Steve Harvey, Nick Cannon, Chris Rock, Bill Belemy, Arsenio Hall, all of the Wayans Brothers and Bill Cosby.

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I think I remember reading something the Will wanted to do a remake with Denzel of "Uptown Saturday Night". It's an old 70's action/comedy that starred Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby as two guys who go to a night club and get robbed. One of them had a winning lottery ticket, so they have to track down the thieves and get it back.

Edited by Radewart
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Interview with Denzel:

(CBS) The new film "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" opened this weekend and Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith recently had the chance to sit down with one of the movie's stars, two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, about filming in his hometown of New York City.

In the movie, New York City plays such an important role that it's comparable to a character.

"Absolutely," said Washington, a Mt. Vernon, N.Y. native.

For Washington, making a movie in his hometown was "a dream," he says.

"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" was shot late at night in the actual subways after the evening rush hour and before the morning rush hour.

"I've been the guy on the train at 3:00 in the morning when they slow down between stations and you see those guys out there working. 'What are they doing out there?' We were those guys," he said.

Washington has a genuine craft when it comes to creating a character in his mind and bringing it to life on the big screen.

"The character tells me as much as I determine. That was an instinct I had," he explained. "Probably just because I played a lot of cops. But it was just an instinct to not - 'what if he's not good with a gun? What if he doesn't know what to do?' He just happens to be the guy on the phone the day that Travolta's character calls.

"And the writer ran with that. It's an interesting twist that Travolta's character, Ryder, befriends the guy (Washington's character, Walter Garber). He said 'I want to talk to that guy. I like that guy.'"

Washington and Travolta can't actually see each other in the movie.

"If we sat here now and did this interview with our eyes closed, it would be just as interesting," Washington said. "Because the other four senses take over. We still developed a relationship. We were there off camera for the other guy."

"How is John?" Smith saked.

"I haven't talked to him for a good two or three weeks or so. We talk for a long time, a couple hours. We laugh one minute and cry the next. He's just -he's tougher," Washington said.

With a long list of films, the shortest list for the actor is comedies. According to Smith, Washington is "funny."

"You know, I shouldn't talk about it, but I'll just say that Will Smith and I are working on a project," Washington admitted. "We're working on a script now. Hopefully we'll make it next year.

"But we were working on it a little bit in London last summer. We were fooling around, improvising. He said, 'Don't worry, Denzel. You don't have to be the funny guy. You can be the straight guy.' I look forward to the opportunity."

Smith showed Washington a picture of himself as a child, which is featured on the Boys & Girls Club of America's advocacy ad campaign, "Be Great America".

Washington says he remembers that day.

"I think I was in the third or fourth grade maybe. Maybe fifth grade. But I was dead serious. I looked like I knew I was going places, didn't I?" he joked.

As the son of a preacher, Washington recalls a special moment that changed his life, which occured in his mother's beauty parlor.

"This woman was known to have the gift of prophecy. She said, 'Somebody bring me a piece of paper.' She said, 'young man, you're going to preach to millions of people.' By the way, I'd been kicked out of school at this point. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life.

"She said, 'I have this prophecy.' Do you see anything in there about me getting back in school?" Washington joked. "I kept the piece of paper and started acting that fall."

With a great sense of humor, Washington also respects both the audience and himself.

"I don't take myself too seriously," he said. "Listen, they spend a lot of money making these movies. People don't have a lot of money to go to them. So, I try to do the best job I can. I don't take it lightly. I mean, I try to work hard."

"The Taking of Pelham 1,2 3" can be seen in theatres nationwide.




There you go, Brakes! ;)

Edited by Ale
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  • 6 months later...

Exclusive: Big Willy and Denzel Together. Finally.


Sounds like an Uptown Saturday Night To Me / Dustin Rowles

It’s a new year, and as we continue to bring you exclusive reports from our inside source, The Hollywood Cog, and others, I think it’s important to reiterate that much of the news we break involves projects very early in development. In most cases, these projects haven’t been announced yet (which is why it’s an “exclusive”). However, you should take in-development projects with a grain of salt — not because these projects aren’t in development (if we report it, it most certainly is), but because we’re jumping the queue, so to speak. Some of these projects being developed might never make it to the big screen; some may not even make it to the announcement stage. We are often given information about whether a project is a priority for a studio or not, in which case there’s a much better chance that it will make it to the screen (and we generally limit our reports to priority projects or projects in regular development that gain significant traction). Non-priority projects may spend years in development hell before going inactive or finally finding some momentum.

Moreover, as we wrote at length last month, just because an actor or a director is “attached” to a project does not mean that he or she will ultimately make the movie. Directors and talent can be replaced, dropped, or simply fall off at any point during the course of development.

That said, we do aim to cover projects that either look promising or might be of interest to our readers. Moreover, in-development projects offer plenty of excuses for incredulity or, in the rare case, a small amount of hope that the project will eventually be made.

Which brings me to the project in question, a remake of the 1974 film, Uptown Saturday Night, which originally starred Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier (it was also directed by Poitier). The fact that it might be remade might not come as too big a surprise — back in 2002, Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, purchased the remake rights to Uptown Saturday Night with the hope of putting together an all-star African-American version of Ocean’s 11. At the time, Smith had said he’s spoken to Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence about the possibility of starring.

However, since 2002, the project has basically been inactive. There’s been no public movement on the project. That is, until the middle of December, when Warner Brothers and Overbrook not only put the project back in motion — by putting out a call for a rewrite on an original script from Mark and Robb Cullen (Cop Out) — but by also attaching a name that hadn’t been mentioned in relation to the project yet: Denzel Washington.

Indeed, after The Hollywood Cog told me that Denzel and Will Smith were potentially starring in a remake of Uptown Saturday Night, I did a little diligence, and found this from an MTV interview back in June, which which seems to suggest that there’s more to this project that a couple of attached names burning up in development hell:

MTV’s Josh Horowitz chatted up Denzel Washington recently, in support of his starring role in this week’s summer action remake “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” When Josh asked Washington if there was a genre he’d never touched, he responded with the news that he’s working on some sort of comedy — maybe with an action bent — with Will Smith.

Of course, even if An Uptown Saturday Night is now a priority for Warner Brothers, it’s still got to be something of a longshot, since both Denzel and Will Smith are already attached to three dozen projects between them and because they haven’t even found anyone to rewrite the script, although the fact that there’s already one script (in addition to the original script) suggests that it could be finished in a matter of weeks or months. Still, the idea of these two Hollywood powerhouses starring in a movie together is more than intriguing, all the more so because it’s a remake of a African-American classic. This is one of those projects that I’d actually like to see happen.

For the unfamiliar, Uptown Saturday Night was a movie about two estranged friends, Steve Jackson (Smith) and Wardell Johnson (Washington), who meet up at a nightclub and get robbed of their wallets. The next morning they discover that one of their wallets contained a winning lottery ticket, and together they must recover their stolen property.

James Lassiter is producing and, currently, David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) is attached to direct, although everything (or nothing) could change up and until the project is officially announced.


Edited by Ale
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  • 1 month later...

Will Smith's "Uptown Saturday Night" Remake Status

Back in January we reported that Warner Bros hired Mark and Robb Cullen to re-write the most recent draft of the remake for Sidney Poitier's 1974 comedy "Uptown Saturday Night," which Will Smith now owns the rights to and Denzel Washington has been circling.

During the "Cop Out" press junket, we had the chance to catch up with the Cullen brothers to get an update on the project. "We're waiting on Will, he's got 'Men in Black 3,' he's got four [projects]," they said. "He's the biggest movie star in the world, it comes down to what Will wants to do."

They continued: "We wrote it obviously for Will and Denzel to [play Sidney Poitier's and Bill Cosby's roles]. Hopefully it will be that with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) directing. It's a very funny script."

Regarding story: "Will bought the properties for all three, he owns 'Uptown Saturday Night,' he owns 'Let's Do it Again' and 'A Piece of the Action.' So we married the elements of all of them. It's a big movie. A big, fun movie."

The original film followed the misadventures of two friends who sneak out of their homes to visit a legendary - yet illegal - nightclub. But when the place is held up, and their wallets are taken, the pair must recover a winning lottery ticket that was lurking within Cosby's wallet.


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