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harlem-nightsWhat up yall…that picture is what Ed would look like if told him I was doing what I’m about to do. I’ve done a few of these for some of my favorite movies. A recasting is what I like to call it. I’ve always liked movies with the “ensemble cast”, a gathering of stars that fight not to step on each other on screen. In my VERY humble opinion, the best example of this was Harlem Nights. One of my favorite movies of all time, it had some of the biggest stars in black comedy history. The use of the F word was epic and artful, but what did you expect from Redd, Pryor and Eddie. The time period can’t really be changed and the movie have the same impact. You have to keep the story pretty much the same and you have to recreate some of the iconic scenes, with quotes such as: “I’ve got a girl who’s p***y is so good, if you threw it up in the air it would turn into sunshine.” Or “Look it, I aint comin’ home no more, take it easy” or “I’m a honest hoe, and all my hoes is honest”. But you have to have the proper folks to deliver these lines. It is in the spirit of the late great Redd Foxx, the five who that lifted what, and Della Reese’s pinky toe that I present the Harlem Nights 2013 cast:
Quick: Jamie Foxx He’s perfect, he has the comedic timing and star power to pull off what Ed did in ’89. I’d even keep that down the middle part, although I’d lose the Duke kit Quick rocked.
Sugar Ray: Samuel L. Jackson Another perfect pick, his presence and mastery of profanity make him the perfect father figure for Quick. I’d would flesh his onscreen role out more, maybe do more scenes with him and Cantone and maybe a longer, more intense meeting with Bugsy.
Bennie “Snake Eyes” Wilson: Reynaldo Rey The former Comicview host was one of two people (the other was Paul Mooney), I had in mind for this role. I really struggled with this but I just didn’t see Paul being able to pull of the “Sunshine” scene. The rasp and complexion seal the deal as well. I’d have him pretty much stick to the same role brought to life by Fred G. Sanford.
Vera Walker: Laura Hayes Miss Laura, also Comicview alumni, has the perfect disposition to bring the character originally played by the Della Reese to life. I can see her now trading punches with Jamie in the ally.
Dominique La Rue: Noémie Lenoir The French chick with the bald head in Rush Hour 3 would be a more authentic Creole woman than Whitley Gilbert. The role was important in the original but not large, I’d stick to that.
Phil Cantone: Ray Liotta Ray playing a dirty cop working for the mob is perfect. He plays smug and sinister very well, a good #2 bad guy.
Bugsy Calhoune: James Gandolfini I hate to be cliché but Tony Soprano is a perfect mob boss. The scene where Quick asks how Dominique could be attracted to a “big, fat, nasty, greasy, fat, stank, bloated, cheesy-backed, 12-sandwich-eatin’ bastard”, fits perfectly. He also perfect for losing it in the scene when he realizes they’ve replace his money wit heroine that turns out to be sugar. He would definitely have more dialog with Quick and Sugar Ray and a bigger role in general.
Crying Man: Kevin Hart “Noooooo, I wasn’t ready, you killed my brother” I’m laughing as I’m typing this. That would be hilarious, and have the plastic cup boyz riding with him; Spank would be the guy with the small gun that he tells to quit shootin’.
The other minor roles: I’d have Thomas Mikal Ford and Charles Q. Murphy both reprise their roles. Thomas Jefferson Byrd would be the toothless gambler killed at the beginning. Paula Patton would be great as Sunshine. John Goodman would be a good Richie Vento. BernNadette Stanis would be a perfect Annie, Sugar Ray’s old lady. I would have Terry Crews play the champ Jack Jenkins. That about does it, this would be a funny flick, I wonder what Ed would think of me retouching his directorial debut. If he didn’t like it…his opinion would be wrong. Peace