CATEGORIES Comedy, Casting, Celebrities and Controversy, Remakes and Sequels, Religious, CinematicalHere's a film I expect to annoy some religious groups: Sweet Baby Jesus, which will star Bette Midler, Kim Cattrall and British actress/singer Pixie Lott (pictured) in a modernized telling of the Nativity. Well, it's kind of modernized, at least relative to the original story, but the comedy is set in the 1970s and in this setting Mary (Lott) is a pregnant hippie chick whose condition was mysteriously not caused by her boyfriend, Joe, who Deadline now claims might be played by Sam Rockwell, who is more than 22-years Lott's senior.
Instead of giving birth in a manger in the little Middle Eastern town of Bethlehem, Mary, along with Joe, is staying in a guesthouse at a woman's (Midler) house in Bethlehem, Maryland, after being denied room at her mother's (Cattrall). At Christmas, of course. According to Variety, Sweet Baby Jesus will be directed by Peter Hewitt (Garfield), who is quoted as saying, "The script has such fun subverting the treasured details of the Nativity, posing the question, 'What would we do if it all happened again?'"
That script comes from Steve Blair (I Do & I Don't) and apparently explores the idea of Jesus' potential second coming, though given the time and place and person involved, I'd think the people of Bethlehem would logically assume Mary's just been impregnated by some other sexual partner and is lying about her chastity. The movie will also reportedly feature a prominent soundtrack filled with songs from both the 70s and today (the latter likely performed by Lott), and I guarantee you one of those tunes will be "Spirit in the Sky." Actually that will probably even be in the trailer.
Regardless, Sweet Baby Jesus, which honestly reminds me of Talladega Nights more than anything, should be a controversial release if only for its motivation of having "fun subverting" this important Christian story. This might even upset more people than an underage Keisha Castle-Hughes actually becoming pregnant just after shooting The Nativity Story. That legitimate Bible movie wasn't too successful, so it will be interesting to see if this sitcom-like version does any better.