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Warner Bros. heads ‘Uptown’ with scribe

Dowling to rewrite remake eyed as vehicle for Will Smith and Denzel Washington

A remake of the buddy comedy “Uptown Saturday Night” that’s been in development at Warner Bros. for nearly a decade is getting a push forward, with the studio and Overbrook Entertainment bringing on comedy scribe Tim Dowling to write the script.

David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”) is attached to direct and exec produce remake of the 1974 buddy comedy that starred Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier. Overbrook partners Will Smith, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and Jada Pinkett Smith will produce.

“Uptown” has been in development since 2002, and Mark and Robb Cullen (“Cop Out”) took a first crack at a rewrite. The film followed two estranged friends who have their wallets stolen at a nightclub. The next morning, they learn that one contained a winning lottery ticket, and together, they set out to find it.

New pic will likely diverge from the original storyline, and is being eyed as a starring vehicle for two A-list leads such as Smith and Denzel Washington, two thesps Hollywood’s rumor mill has long associated with the project.

Dowling was named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2010. Lately, Dowling has added action to his resume, having penned the upcoming Chris Pine-Tom Hardy pic “This Means War,” as well as the “Midnight Run” sequel for Universal.

Dobkin’s next film is the Ryan Reynolds-Jason Bateman body-switching comedy “The Change-Up,” which Universal releases Aug. 5. He recently became attached to direct “The Judge” for WB, and serves as a producer on the studio’s fantasy epic “Jack the Giant Killer.”

CAA reps Dobkin and Dowling, who is also repped by Mosaic and attorney Rick Genow.

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