Friday, April 12, 2024

New TV Version of “Uncle Buck” Will Have a Different Spin: All African American Characters


EXCLUSIVE Somewhere in heaven I do think John Candy and John Hughes would approve. I am told that the new “Uncle Buck” TV pilot calls for something different– all African American actors to play the roles.

That’s right: Uncle Buck will be black. So will his family. Buck Russell is listed in casting notices that go out today as late 20s to early 30s, African American, “he’s a wild and free-wheeling force of nature who has managed to lose every job and every girlfriend he’s ever had, but who still flies through life by the seat of his pants, never knowing what tomorrow will bring.”

It’s the role of a lifetime for any actor, but especially at this moment when diversity is everything. Black or white, the new Uncle Buck will have a serious brother who has three kids. Buck, of course, corrupts them when he loses his latest job and becomes their manny.

Will Packer, Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley are exec producers for this Universal Television/ABC sitcom. The original “Uncle Buck” was a hit movie in 1989, and a failed TV series in 1990.

So who should play Uncle Buck? Kevin Hart? Hannibal Burress? Donald Glover? Doesn’t this sound like a JB Smoove character? Is Keenan Thompson too obvious?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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