It feels like it’s been a long time since we last saw Eddie Murphy on the big screen, doesn’t it? I’m sure he’s comfortable financially, and isn’t exactly pressed to make new money by taking on almost every project that’s offered to him. So when Murphy does attach himself to a project, it immediately gets my attention.
The last time we saw him on the big screen was in “Tower Heist” in 2011, 5 years ago. Although there was that terrible “A Thousand Words” which sat in limbo for years after it was made, until Dreamworks finally released it in early 2012 (it was made years before “Tower Heist”) to overwhelmingly negative reviews and weak box office.
The actor/comedian/musician replaced Samuel L. Jackson in the upcoming dramedy which was previously titled “Cook,” but is being released as “Mr. Church.” It tells the story of the friendship between a young white girl and her dying mother, and their African American cook, the Mr. Church in the title of the film, in New Orleans.
Here’s a full synopsis: “Charlotte “Charlie” Brody is not pleased when Henry Joseph Church arrives at their modest home, at the request of Marie Brody’s deceased lover, to serve as their cook. Mr Church made a solemn promise to Marie’s former lover that he would take care of Marie for 6 months because Marie is dying of cancer. Young Charlotte has no idea that her mother is sick and refuses to warm up to the man who is suddenly an ever-present figure in her life. However, Mr Church’s presence becomes far more important than Charlotte could ever imagine. Marie’s mother lives another 6 years, and Mr Church stays on to nurse Marie through her illness. Mr Church becomes a loving role model and life long friend to Charlotte, and to Charlotte’s child, long after Marie dies.”
Murphy of course plays Henry Joseph Church. Britt Robertson plays Charlotte.
Lucy Fry, Natascha McElhone, Xavier Samuel, and Mckenna Grace are also members of the film’s cast.
Bruce Beresford is the director from a script penned by Susan McMartin. By the way, Beresford also directed “Driving Miss Daisy.”
The film is based on McMartin’s own real-life story. You can read the shortened story which inspired the film here. Also, above-left is a photo of the real life Henry Joseph Church and Charlotte “Charlie” Brody.
Envision Media Arts, Evolution Entertainment, After Dark Films, and Atmosphere Entertainment are all producers.
The film is mas its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this year, with Cinelou Releasing handling its domestic theatrical release.
The company has announced today that “Mr. Church” will be released in USA theaters this fall, on September 16. Cinelou will also release the film overseas, via Warner Bros International.
A previously-released first poster (above) as well as a clip from the film (below) are available.