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Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett & Jennifer Hudson To Star In Big Screen Adaptation Of Langston Hughes' 'Black Nativity'

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by Joe Cunningham
July 5, 2012 9:07 AM
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Christmas movies, don’t you just love ‘em? Last year we got the child-friendly “Arthur Christmas” and the not so child-friendly “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” but it looks like we should expect to see something very earnest at one of the next few Christmases. Fox Searchlight are prepping “Black Nativity,” a film based on Langston Hughes’ gospel musical, which first played on Broadway back in 1961. According to Variety, 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 the importance of faith and family.”

Now who’s best to deliver a powerful and inspirational religious sermon? How about that chap who recited Ezekiel 25:17 in “Pulp Fiction”? Yes, Fox are looking to Samuel L Jackson to add yet another film to his packed schedule and play the grandfather in the movie. Angela Basset – who has recently shared the Broadway stage with Jackson in “The Mountaintop” – is in talks to play the grandmother. Jennifer Hudson, meanwhile, is in talks to play the young boy’s mother, who hasn’t spoken to the grandfather since they fell out while she was pregnant.

While we can’t really get that excited about some wholesome, seasonal, family fluff, we can’t turn out nose up at that casting either. There’s no news yet on which young actor will play the film’s protagonist, but we wouldn’t be surprised if (with that adult cast on board) they opt for an unknown with a big set of pipes. Otherwise, Jackson’s role looks likely to be the flashiest. Combine that with the aforementioned dream sequences, and this will be the "Inception"-iest holiday tale ever.

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