A slew of Oscar faves like Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson are on tap for holiday musical “Black Nativity,” which began principal photography today in New York. The adaptation of the 1961 Langston Hughes play, “Black Nativity” will boast new songs and arrangements from producer and singer Raphael Saadiq, with director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) at the helm.
Considering its a musical film, there are other artists on tap in the cast: Nas, Tyrese Gibson (or, simply, Tyrese), Island Def Jam’s Luke James and RCA artist Jacob Latimore are also added.
“Black Nativity” is a story that follows Langston (Latimore), “a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Whitaker and Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs” rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.”
Fox Searchlight Pictures, undoubtedly, will be releasing the film during a holiday near you. It’s produced by William Horberg”s Wonderful Films, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray”s Maven Pictures. A statement promises a mix of R&B, hip-hop and gospel music.
Coincidentally, Grammy and Academy Award winner Hudson stars as a mother in another recent film project, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Whitaker is in a handful of films finishing up in 2013, including “Pawn,” “Out of the Furnace” and “Zulu.” Bassett is featured in forthcoming “Olympus Has Fallen,” alongside Gerard Butler and Mo