As one of the most zen personalities in Hollywood, Woody Harrelson isn’t the type of actor to trash other artists’ work.
Not like we expected him to when we asked him about the planned remake of White Men Can’t Jump, his 1992 favorite in which he costarred with Wesley Snipes as street basketball hustlers, and Rosie Perez won bigger than anybody for killing the “foods that start with Q” category on Jeopardy!. The upcoming reboot will star rapper du jour Jack Harlow and Sinqua Walls in the lead roles.
But we also didn’t expect him to be quite as effusive in his optimism over it.
“I’m feeling great about it,” Harrelson told us during a recent press day for his upcoming Netflix action-comedy The Man From Toronto, where he was joined by co-star Kevin Hart. “They’re gonna make a better movie that we made. I’m looking forward to watching it.”
Told that might be a bit much (exact words: “Let’s not get crazy here”), Harrelson laughed it off.
“I’m just trying to be expansive here,” he said.
Breaking news/Crazy talk: Woody Harrelson says the White Men Can’t Jump remake with Jack Harlow is going to be better than the original. pic.twitter.com/5yAg0tBRh1
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) June 13, 2022
And no doubt, there are some promising attributes to the latest early '90s favorite to get remade after recent failures like Total Recall (2012), Point Break (2015) and Flatliners (2017). The script is from TV and movie hit machine Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Girls Trip) while accomplished music video director Calmatic will call the shots. Lance Reddick, Teyana Taylor and Laura Harrier will reportedly costar with Harlow and Walls.
But the odds this version will be celebrated at the Academy Awards 30 years after its release — as the 1992 version was in March, though that’s likely blurred from your memory, post-Slap — have to reasonably start low.
Harrelson may be humbly downplaying how much love there is for the original, but we know he cherished the experience of making it.
In a 2017 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Harrelson said he discovered yoga on the movie’s set, and the new stretches ultimately allowed him to hustle Snipes in a real-life dunk contest.
After flexing a classic con artist move and pretending he could not, in fact, jump, “We upped the bet and upped the bet and then I slammed it," Harrelson said.
"I'll never forget the look on Wes's face. That was a joyous moment."
The Man From Toronto premieres on Netflix June 24.
Watch the trailer: