EXCLUSIVE: Forest Whitaker has been set by Netflix to star in Jingle Jangle, the David E. Talbert-directed holiday musical about a cobblestone world that comes to life.  Whitaker will play Jeronicus Jangle, a once-great inventor and toy maker who has lost his belief in himself and his inventions, but stumbles upon a second chance and a magical invention, when his granddaughter comes to town for the holidays. If he can get the thing to work in time for the holidays, it will change their lives forever.

The Oscar-winning actor is coming off Black Panther, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Arrival. He previously starred opposite Theo James in Netflix’s How It Ends, and this fall he plays crime boss Bumpy Johnson in the EPIX series Godfather Of Harlem. He also recently made his Broadway debut in the Michael Grandage-directed Hughie.

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Talbert set Jingle Jangle at Netflix late last year in a pitch deal and he’s written a script that Netflix scheduled to start shooting in 2019. The film will be released by Netflix in 2020. The filmmaker is coming off Almost Christmas and El Camino Christmas, latter for Netflix. Talbert is currently in development on an original half-hour comedy for ABC, produced by LeBron James and Gabrielle Union. He previously directed First Sunday and Baggage Claim.

The film is produced by Mike Jackson, John Legend, David E. Talbert, Lyn Sisson-Talbert, and David McIlvain. Ty Stiklorius is exec producer.

Whitaker is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Group.