Blackfilm.com is reporting that the Kasi Lemmons-directed musical Black Nativity will start filming in late January 2013 with Forest Whitaker in the male lead. He will star opposite Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson in the Fox Searchlight Pictures film.
Black Nativity tells the story of a teenage boy 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, he learns about the importance of faith and family.
Hudson will play the mother who hasn't spoken to her father since they had a falling out after she got pregnant. Bassett and Whitaker will play the boy's estranged grandparents, Rev. Clarence and Aretha Cobbs.
The site adds that Whitaker is expected to play multiple characters during the Nativity sequence.
Lemmons is writing and directing the film based on Langston Hughes' gospel musical. Bill Horberg and Celine Rattray will produce with Galt Niederhoffer and Daniela Taplin Lundberg, while Joy Goodwin will executive produce.