ABC’s upcoming small screen remake of the hit John Hughes comedy Uncle Buck recently turned some heads with the announcement that the show would be centered around a black family. Not too surprisingly, the first two cast members added are quite well-known from both the big and small screen, as The Hangover III’s Mike Epps and The Divide’s Nia Long will be heading the comedy.
Epps will star as Buck Russell, a role made famous by the great John Candy. A man in a permanent state of arrested development, Buck is tasked with taking care of his brother Bill’s kids, which he does in a predictably immature fashion, but he also learns something about being an adult while he’s doing it. As the film proved, even a slightly silly logline like that can be turned into something classic.
According to Deadline, Long is set to play Buck’s intelligent and resolute sister-in-law. Now we just have to wait and see who gets cast as her husband Bill. I erroneously expected the creative team to go for younger actors for the leads, so having two actors in their 40s definitely opens up who else might get cast here.
This version of Uncle Buck was written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, both of whom have written and produced for MADtv and Scrubs. Cragg was also a writer on Saturday Night Live for a stint, while Bradley did some producing on Happy Endings. The project comes from Universal TV, where the duo have a deal, and Will Packer Productions, which has been behind recent films like Think Like a Man Too and The Wedding Ringer.
For a small while, it seemed like this Uncle Buck remake might get sidelined, following the negative reaction from the estates of both John Hughes and John Candy. (Discontent from director Cameron Crowe put the kibosh on a Say Anything TV series not long before.) Personally, I’m glad that the Kevin Meaney-starring 1990 remake might not be the only one out there if ABC picks Uncle Buck up to series.
Epps most recently starred in the Starz comedy Survivor’s Remorse as Uncle Julius, and he’s got a ton of movies lined up for the next year or so, including Peter Billingsley’s crime drama Term Life, the Nina Simone biopic Nina, Bradley Kaplan’s drama Stealing Cars, and Deon Taylor’s comedy Meet the Blacks. (The latter also co-stars Mike Tyson.) Long, who had a stint on Showtime’s House of Lies, was most recently seen in The Divide and Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club. She’s set to reprise her role as Jordan in the Best Man Holiday sequel The Best Man Wedding.