We admit it: when we heard that Samuel L Jackson was in negotiations to take one of the prime roles in Kasi Lemmons’ Black Nativity, visions danced in our heads of him playing the Angel Gabriel as a cross between heavenly host and Jules from Pulp Fiction. Alas, that’s probably not what he’ll be up to, but he will be sharing the screen with Angela Bassett and, assuming she makes a deal, Jennifer Hudson.
Lemmons has been adapting the script from Langston Hughes’ 1961 gospel Broadway musical, which follows a black teenager from Baltimore dispatched by his single mum to stay with the grandparents he’s never met in Harlem. A troubled type, he learns the importance of faith, family, and quite possibly funk, thanks to his grandfather’s Christmas Eve sermon and stylized, dream-sequence re-tellings of the classic nativity story.
Jackson is on to play Reverend Clarence Cobbs, the estranged grandfather, with Bassett, who recently shared the stage with him, as wife Aretha. Hudson is in talks to be the boy’s mother, who has not spoken to her father since she got pregnant. Her son has yet to be cast. Oh, and according to Variety, Jackson is probably playing multiple characters in the nativity story itself, so our dream of the world’s angriest angel is not dead yet.
Appearing this summer in a little movie some of you may have seen called Avengers Assemble, Jackson has been busy acting in old mucker Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He’s lined up jobs in the Robocop remake and will also pop up as Nick Fury in the Captain America sequel.
Bassett, who might want to forget she was ever in This Means War, will be a big part of White House in peril action pic Olympus Has Fallen.