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Praise This - What We Know So Far

Back in June of 2019, Deadline and other media news outlets reported that a new feature from Universal was in the works: "Praise This," a musical comedy about the ultracompetitive world of youth choirs. Deadline also announced that Tina Gordon ("Peeples," "What Men Want") would write and direct. It's being produced by James Lopez and Will Packer of Will Packer Productions ("The Wedding Ringer," "Ride Along 2," "Think Like a Man"), as well as Tim Story and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett of The Story Company ("Barbershop").

It's another collaboration between Gordon, Universal, and The Story Company, who all previously worked together to create "Little," a sci-fi comedy. "It is a pleasure to be teaming up with Tina once again," Lopez told Deadline. "She is a great leader and will bring tremendous energy to this project. Tim, Sharla, Will and I look forward to the collaboration."

Since that announcement, the coronavirus pandemic arrived and disrupted life around the world, including TV and film release schedules. Much has changed since summer 2019, but here's everything we know about "Praise This."

What is the release date for Praise This?

"Praise This" currently does not have a release date. In June 2019, Deadline reported that "Praise This" was scheduled for release on Sept. 25, 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic upended the world and scrambled the movie release schedule for the near future. As of June 2021, the release date for "Praise This" is still TBA.

Even though it's currently about nine months past the last scheduled premiere date, "Praise This" is still unlikely to premiere in 2021, as Universal doesn't have the movie listed anywhere on its upcoming films page, which goes as far ahead as 2023. 

The best bet is that "Praise This" will release some time in 2022. Because the film still has not entered production, it probably won't release until the second half of 2022, at the earliest. Universal already has films scheduled for June through September of that year, but the calendar is a little more open after that. 

Who's in the cast of Praise This?

At this point, the only talent that's attached to "Praise This" is director Tina Gordon, who was named in the June 2019 Deadline piece. Gordon is also rewriting a script that was originally penned by Jana Savage, Brandon Broussard, and Hudson Obayuwana. The Gordon announcement was the last major news item about "Praise This." Casting announcements usually come out as films approach the start of production, but because "Praise This" doesn't have a release date yet, it's still too early for casting news.

So, whoever is in "Praise This" is anyone's guess. All we know is that it's a musical comedy directed by Tina Gordon. Gordon is a veteran writer-director behind films like "Peeples," "What Men Want," and "Little." If Gordon decides to cast people she's worked with before, that could mean the "Praise This" cast will include performers like Craig Robinson, Issa Rae, Taraji P. Henson, or Tracy Morgan. Of those, Robinson is probably the most well known for his musical abilities. However, right now, your guess is as good as ours. 

What is the plot of Praise This?

So far, very few plot details about "Praise This" are available beyond a brief logline. Universal hasn't shared any glimpses of the film in the form of set photos or a teaser trailer. It's also possible that Gordon's script isn't finished yet, so even the film's director might not know the full answer to this question.

All we know about "Praise This" right now is that it's a comedy set in the competitive world of youth choirs. It's not clear whether the movie's focus will be on the children who participate in the choir, the adults who run it, or some combination of both. 

Based on Gordon's previous work, it will likely be a bit of everything. Her last film, "Little," was another collaboration with producer Will Packer. It starred Marsai Martin as a tech executive who gets trapped in the body of her 13-year-old self. That project required Gordon to cater to both adults and teens. "There are things that were left on the cutting room floor that are absolutely hilarious, but they might make a mother going with her daughter uncomfortable," Gordon explained to Collider. "There are things that are just super sweet, that may just be too kid-like and would lose the parents. You just have to keep experimenting until you find the balance that can be a little edgy, a little fun, and a wink to the parents, and the kids are potentially enjoying a totally different movie, within the same movie."

Hopefully, that balance is easy for Gordon to find in "Praise This" once she takes her seat in the director's chair.