Sam Jackson and Angela Bassett Plan 'Black Nativity' Gospel Musical
Every other year there's usually one big Hollywood musical that hits the big screen. This year we've got Les Miserables coming in December (it's on our list of 20 films you can still look forward to in 2012), and now another one is going into development. Variety has word that we'll be getting a rare gospel musical in the form of Black Nativity, adapting Langston Hughes' Broadway musical of the same name which first arrived in 1961.In addition, Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, who both shared the stage on Broadway in The Mountaintop, will sing on the big screen in the musical adaptation with Jennifer Hudson. Read on!
Kasi Lemmons, who directed Talk to Me (a sorely underrated film starring Don Cheadle) and The Caveman's Valentine (which starred Jackson). The story follows a young black teen from Baltimore who is sent by his single mother to Harlem to spend Christmas with the grandparents he's never met. Through his grandfather's Christmas Eve sermon and a stylized, dream-sequence retelling of the classic Nativity story, he learns about the importance of faith and family. The young lead has yet to be cast, but Jackson and Bassett will play his grandparents Reverend Clarence and Aretha Cobbs respectively, but it sounds like the former will also play multiple characters in the Nativity retelling. Meanwhile, Hudson will play the boy's mother, who hasn't spoken to her father since they had a falling out after she got pregnant.
Gospel and the Nativity story should make for an interesting holiday release sometime in 2013, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's when the film ends up getting released. It sounds like there's the potential for a lot of comedy and drama here. Lemmons is a solid actress turned filmmaker who really deserves more attention for the film Talk to Me. Maybe she can get some Tarantino fans interested if she gets Jackson to recite his infamous Biblical monologue from Pulp Fiction. He's playing a reverend after all, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. Frankly, I can't wait to see him sing in a Gospel musical.