Reginald Hudlin will direct the film, produced by Amazon Studios, Imagine Entertainment and Eddie Murphy Productions, from a spec script written by Kelly Younger and inspired by Younger’s childhood holiday experiences. Murphy is on board as a producer, serving alongside Imagine’s Brian Grazer and the company’s president of features, Karen Lunder, and Charisse Hewitt-Webster. With Hudlin at the helm, the new movie reunites the team behind the hit romantic comedy “Boomerang” and marks the seventh feature collaboration for Grazer and Murphy. Plot details are being kept under wraps, and production will begin this winter in Los Angeles.
“The holiday season is my favorite time of year — just ask my family about my nine-hour Christmas playlist!” stated Hudlin. “I‘m excited to be working again with Eddie Murphy, Brian Grazer, and Amazon.”
The new project is the first film in Murphy’s first-look deal with Amazon Studios, which the parties formalized in 2021 following the successful launch of “Coming 2 America” on the streamer.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “As we know firsthand with our hit ‘Coming 2 America,’ Eddie is someone who brings global audiences together, and we can’t wait to make it happen again! We look forward to seeing the multi-talented Reggie Hudlin take the helm in bringing this future holiday classic to life!”
Oscar and Emmy-nominated producer and director Hudlin has directed films like “House Party,” “Boomerang,” “Marshall,” “The Black Godfather” and “Safety,” and produced movies including “Django Unchained,” as well as series including “Phat Tuesday,” “Friday Night Vibes” with Tiffany Haddish, “The Boondocks” and the “Black Panther” animated series. In May, Variety exclusively reported that Hudlin would return to produce the Emmys for the third consecutive year; Hudlin is also the second African American to produce the Oscars. In addition to his work in film and television, Hudlin is also a comic book writer and has created award-winning runs on “The Black Panther” and “Spider Man,” and is the co-owner of Milestone Media, which develops multi-ethnic superhero properties for print, movies and television in partnership with WarnerMedia.
Younger’s credits include writing and developing several projects for The Muppets Studio, having already co-created and co-executive produced “Muppets Now” and written and co-executive produced the 2022 PGA Award winner “Muppets Haunted Mansion.” Additionally, Younger has story credit on Disney Animation’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and also contributed to “Frozen 2,” “Moana” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” during his time serving as a member of the Disney Animation Story Trust.
As for Murphy, the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actor and comedian — who has been one of Hollywood’s most successful box office performers throughout the course of his 40-year career — is on a roll. In addition to “Coming 2 America,” Murphy also starred as Rudy Ray Moore in the critically acclaimed Netflix movie “Dolemite Is My Name” and won his first Emmy for his big return as host of “Saturday Night Live.” He is next set to produce and star in Netflix’s “Beverly Hills Cop 4” and will appear opposite Jonah Hill in the upcoming Kenya Barris-directed comedy “You People.”
Deadline was first to report news of the developing project.