Anthony Hemingway is directing The Preacher’s Wife remake that will also see original cast member Courtney B. Vance reprising his role.
The film, which is described as a “reimagining” of the 1996 film will “creatively evolve the story in a new direction.”
“Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. To be re-imagining this classic and beloved holiday story is a gift,” said Hemingway. “When Whitney Davis brought this idea to me, I instinctively called Courtney and we knew instantly that we’d be working together to bring this uplifting story to new audiences. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with my friends Courtney and Angela, as well as our amazing teams at Bassett Vance Productions and Anthony Hemingway Productions.”
The ’96 film follows preacher Henry Biggs (Vance) who after he begins to doubt himself and his work is visited by an angel, Dudley (Washington). Dudley who is supposed to come to earth to help Biggs over his midlife crisis, is soon distracted by the cleric’s wife Julia (Houston). A remake with gospel music of the `The Bishop’s Wife’.
“Anthony is one of the most gifted directors I have ever had the privilege to work with. I’ve often said wherever Anthony goes, I follow. That’s how much trust and confidence I have in him as a visionary and storyteller,” added Vance. “This is a film that I hold close to my heart, and I recognize that countless others feel the same way. That’s why I am thrilled that Anthony and I will be working together to share this uplifting story with a whole new generation.”
The 1996 film was directed by the late Penny Marshall and was actually in itself a remake of the 1947 film The Bishop’s Wife’ based based on Robert Nathan’s book of the same name.
The original adaptation starred Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.
Hemingway will produce with Vance and Angela Bassett. Whitney Davis and Kyndra “Binkie” Reevey will exec produce for Anthony Hemingway Productions, with Johnson-Cochran and Lynnette Ramirez on behalf of Bassett Vance Productions. BVP closed its deal with Hemingway after acquiring film rights from Samuel Goldwyn.
“Anthony will bring his distinctive, compelling cinematic style to create a fresh take on this beloved classic, while still maintaining the elements of the film that audiences have loved through the years,” said Ramirez, who serves as BVP’s Head of Development. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be developing this project with Anthony.”
The 1996 film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score. The film was nominated for five Image Awards, including Outstanding Motion Picture, and won two—for Best Actress (Whitney Houston) and Best Supporting Actress (Loretta Devine).