Like a cop or maybe a federal agent or something who's just days from retirement, Denzel Washington continues to look for new passions to explore once he's finally off the beat, even under the constant threat that he'll be pulled back in to work one more big case opposite a rookie hotshot white guy. But in the meantime, Denzel dreams of a different life playing jazz piano or maybe even letting loose with a comedy—like starring opposite Will Smith in a remake of 1974's Bill Cosby-Sidney Poitier crime caper Uptown Saturday Night, which the duo have been talking about doing for years, because they're not saying that's who they think they are, but also they are, basically. Now Deadline reports that the project might finally be taking off with director Adam McKay, whose talent for shaping loose, rambling comedies out of seasoned improvisers has absolutely nothing to do with this project, considering every line of dialogue will be tweaked to Will Smith's exacting specifications by the writers vacuum-stored in his trailer.
But still, McKay is obviously adept at ridiculously comic escalations, which is basically Uptown's whole story of two regular guys on the hunt for a stolen wallet containing a winning lottery ticket, pitting them against the seedier elements of the city. And it certainly helps that the film is littered with smaller scene-stealing supporting roles McKay can fill with some of his usual company—roles that in the original were played by people like Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, and Harry Belafonte, and who is David Koechner if not this generation's Harry Belafonte? Anyway, should it go to McKay—who definitely doesn't need any more distractions right now, because he should be making Anchorman 2 for you—he'll direct after he finishes that, and Washington will finally star in his first genuine comedy since 1990's Heart Condition. Then, maybe the sirens will stop.
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