Black Nativity bites the dust, due the lack of faith Hollywood studios has on black actors ability to carry a movie.
Black Nativity is the latest casualty after actors Samuel L. Jackson and Lawrence Fishburne rightfully turned down the lead grandfather role. It’s possible, the reason Jackson and Fishburne turned down the role, is because the part required a lot of singing–something they never do. The role also require that it be believable that they have a 31 year old daughter, which dramatically dries up the casting pool, or better yet, casting pond. With the so called lack of black actors that the studios believe can carry the film, and despite having an Oscar winning actress and another Oscar nominated actress attached, Fox Searchlight was unable to pull the trigger with the Low budget project. A shame!
Black Nativity is a musical based on Langston Hughes writings that followed the son of a single mother in Baltimore, who is sent to Harlem to spend Christmas with the grandparents he has never met.
Academy award winning actress Jennifer Hudson was set to play the mother and Academy award nominated actress Angela Basset was going to play the grandmother.
Kasi Lemmons was at the helm, which is a bigger shame because she burst on the scene with her critically acclaimed film Eve’s Bayou, in 1997, and have been greatly underrated since then.
Screen Gems president, Clint Culpepper, may be on to something when he was quoted saying. “It’s kind of a Catch-22 if you say you need a black actor who can greenlight a film, but if there aren’t any roles to create black stars, how will there be black actors who can greenlight a movie?”