Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett & Jennifer Hudson Circle ‘Black Nativity’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:17 pm,

Ever-busy, fan-fave, Samuel L. Jackson made his Broadway debut last year when he portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop, opposite fellow Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett (last seen in This Means War). The pair has entered talks to reunite for Black Nativity, Kasi Lemmons’ adaptation of the celebrated stage musical written by iconic African-American poet/playwright/novelist/activist Langston Hughes.

Black Nativity would mark the third collaboration between Jackson and Lemmons, following the well-received Eve’s Bayou and the (not-so) well-received Caveman’s Valentine. New reports also reveal that Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) is likewise circling the project.

Hughes’ original Black Nativity musical premiered on Broadway in December 1961; performances have since become an annual tradition across the U.S. Here’s how Variety describes the show:

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.

Jackson is expected to wrap up his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained soon. He’s then set to work on the RoboCop remake/reboot, and will thereafter reprise his role as Nick Fury in Captain America 2. Once Jackson has finished with those big-budget productions, he should be available to re-team with Bassett and Lemmons for Black Nativity (where he’ll play the protagonist’s grandfather).

Bassett has been tapped to play the lead’s grandmother, while Hudson is hashing out a deal to portray the boy’s mother (who’s been estranged from her parents since her pregnancy). It’s also being reported that Jackson will end up playing multiple characters during the Nativity recreation sequences of the film, in addition to his aforementioned central role (ie. the Reverend Clarence Cobbs).

black nativity movie adaptation Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett & Jennifer Hudson Circle Black Nativity

It sounds as though Lemmons’ cinematic take on Black Nativity will carryover the theatrical narrative design of Hughes’ source material, which features gospel renditions of traditional Christmas carols (along with a handful of original tunes). That is to say: Lemmons looks to integrate lavishing musical numbers and set pieces that are imaginary, within the context of the film’s real-world setting (think Chicago).

Recent jukebox movie musicals (Mamma Mia!, Rock of Ages) and films with original musical content (Hairspray, Sweeney Todd) have been released to mixed financial/critical results. The history and talent behind Black Nativity ensures that movie-musicphiles will be onboard; moreover, because it lies between the jukebox and original musical sub-genres, the film could have have cross-over appeal.

We’ll keep you updated on Black Nativity as the story develops.

Source: Variety

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  1. Now if we can just get Marvel Studios to hire these same actresses to star in a Black Panther movie. Angela Bassett would make a great Queen Mother and Jennifer Hudson would be perfect as either Shuri or Monica Lynne.

  2. wow she is so beautiful like nick fury’s daughter. hahahahaha pretty.

  3. I love to see Jennifer Hudson on Broadway with two of Hollywood’s heavyweights Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

  4. I love Jennifer Hudson. She is so beautiful. Since Dream girls, she have chose to play roles that was more challenging and wasn’t who she was in real life. I think Jennifer is a much better actress than Beyonce. Unlike Beyonce, she doesn’t limit herself to the singing roles. Jennifer is taking on roles that allow her to expand her range as an actress.

    I’m waiting for Beyonce to start taking on more serious roles. I would really like to see how Jennifer play a drug addict just like Halle Berry In Jungle Fever and Losing Isiah and Alfred Woodward in Holiday heart and Down in the Delta

  5. Eve’s Bayou is a great gem of a movie.

  6. Please keep me in the loop, regarding the opening for Black Nativity.

    Thanks,
    Todd Henderson