EXCLUSIVE: New Line has made a preemptive deal for a music-driven holiday comedy pitch that will be fashioned as a potential star vehicle for Jennifer Hudson, the Oscar-winning Dreamgirls star who’ll next star as Aretha Franklin in the upcoming Respect.
The film will be scripted by Ira Madison III, and Hudson will make her debut as producer, alongside Glickmania’s Jonathan Glickman, who’s produced the MGM drama Respect, the drama in which, Aretha Franklin, before she died, handpicked Hudson to star in the story of her life.
The New Line film calls for Hudson to sing Christmas standards, as well as new holiday tunes. She has been getting into the holiday swing lately, singing Oh Santa! with singing divas Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande, for Carey’s Magical Christmas Special on Apple TV+. The video has become a viral sensation.
The hope is for Hudson to play a down-and-out singer whose life is turned upside down when she is mistaken for writing the next Christmas hit. New Line President/Chief Creative Officer Richard Brener moved quickly to acquire the film.
Hudson is an exec producer on Respect, which was directed by Liesl Tommy and has an August 13, 2021 release date. She will also executive produce and voice a role in Baobab Studios’ 2021 short film and immersive VR experience Baba Yaga, which brings to life the classic folktale with modern themes of environmentalism and feminism.
Glickman is also producing the upcoming films The Dark Half, Forever and Scandalous! and he is executive producer on The Addams Family 2.
Madison III’s scripting credits include the series Daybreak, Nikki Fre$h and the upcoming Q-Force. He also hosts the provocative Crooked Media podcast Keep It.
Molly Mankiewicz will be executive producer.
Hudson is repped by CAA, and Ziffren Brittenham; Madison by Kailey Marsh at Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.