“Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee is in early negotiations to direct Warner Bros. and Overbrook Entertainment’s remake of “Uptown Saturday Night” starring Kevin Hart, sources tell Variety.
Will Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment partner James Lassiter are producing with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris writing the most recent draft of the script. For years, the project was developed as a possible starring vehicle for Smith and Denzel Washington, but busy schedules for both A-listers have forced Smith to serve as a producer on the project, opening the door for Hart to take the lead.
Kevin Hart and John Cheng will also produce through their HartBeat banner.
The original pic starred Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby and followed two friends who sneak out to visit a high-class but illegal club, and trouble ensues. Jesse Ehrman is overseeing for the studio.
Sources say that once Hart was attached to the project, Lee immediately looked to be in a good position to take on the remake. The two previously worked together on the upcoming Universal comedy “Night School,” which opens in September.
Lee is coming off one of the biggest hits of his career with last summer’s “Girls Trip,” which went on to gross $140 million worldwide, including $115 million domestically. Other recent credits include “Barbershop: The Next Cut” and “The Best Man Holiday.”
He is repped by Paradigm and Del Shaw.