The Muppets Screenwriter Hired To Rewrite Adam McKay's Uptown Saturday Night Remake

By Nick Venable 2013-11-25 19:18:46discussion comments
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The Muppets Screenwriter Hired To Rewrite Adam McKay's Uptown Saturday Night Remake image
Of the great actor/directors in cinema, Sidney Poitier’s name comes up less often than most - and that’s largely because 1990’s Ghost Dad would have killed anyone’s career, dreams, livelihood, etc. As disastrous as that movie was, however, he and Bill Cosby also gave us the great 1974 crime comedy Uptown Saturday Night, which really should be a cult classic at this point. (Richard Pryor and Flip Wilson!) Will Smith and Denzel Washington have been attached to star in a remake for years, the project most recently attracting Anchorman director Adam McKay, and now The Muppets co-writer Nicholas Stoller has stepped in to take over script rewriting duties.

There's an interesting ticking click involved with this development, however. After years of kicking around both Smith and Washington’s schedules, the goal is now to get this film into production by next summer. If Stoller is unable to turn in a script that wins over everyone, then both stars will reportedly drop out, according to Variety. Stoller is planning on delivering the script to Warner Bros. and Overbrook Entertainment within the next month.

Stoller not only has the mind for character-driven comedy, but has also directed a few himself. His writing career first began working with the Judd Apatow gang on the short-lived series Undeclared, but that eventually led him to directing Jason Segel and Kristen Bell in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its more off-the-wall sorta-sequel Get Him to the Greek. His next film is the Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron comedy Neighbors, and he also co-wrote Muppets Most Wanted with director James Bobin, which will be out early next year.

In Uptown Saturday Night, the two leads sneak out of their homes over to a snazzy nightclub of the illegal variety. (Psst. It’s got women in it.) A robbery occurs while they’re there and they have to track down their wallets. Funny stuff ensues, but not quite hilarity. I have no doubt that McKay and Stoller are the perfect pair to deliver solid laughs, but are Washington and Smith the right pair to pull it off? To me, Richard Ayoade and Craig Robinson are the pair you want for this project, but they won’t bring in near the profit that the two attached A-listers will.

Over a decade has passed since Smith first bought the rights to the remake, and it has seen several directors and writers attached over the last few years. Do they have what it takes to live up to the original? Here’s what they’re up against:


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