Gospel musical heads to the bigscreen

Fox Searchlight is bringing Langston Hughes’ gospel musical “Black Nativity” to the bigscreen, with Kasi Lemmons writing and directing.

Searchlight is fast-tracking the holiday classic for a possible Christmas release.

“Black Nativity,” which was first performed in 1961, is a retelling of the Bible’s nativity story with an all-black cast and features traditional Christmas carols sung in gospel style.

Celine Rattray, Galt Niederhoffer and Daniela Taplin Lundberg are producing through their Plum Pictures shingle. Joy Goodwin is exec producing.

Plum Pictures sold “The Winning Season” to Lionsgate at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The Gotham-based company’s “New York, I Love You” will bow later this year. Plum is also in post-production on “After.Life,” starring Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci.

Writer-director Lemmons, who burst onto the scene with 1997′s critically acclaimed Southern drama “Eve’s Bayou,” has been selective with her follow-up projects. She most recently helmed the Don Cheadle starrer “Talk to Me.”

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