Forest Whitaker will be directing and starring in What A Wonderful World, a biopic of jazz pioneering trumpet player Louis Armstrong.
Although Armstrong has appeared as himself in a handful of films – noteably High Society (1956) and The Glen Miller Story (1954) – his own life story has never been a subject for the big screen before. He was the subject of the documentary film Satchmo The Great (1957), which had originally started out as an interview with Edward R. Murrow done for his television show but then expanded.
The film is being scripted by Ron Bass and has been authorized by Armstrong’s estate.
As Whitaker stated to Variety–
Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture. He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.
This will mark the second time Whitaker has played a jazz great, having starred in director Clint Eastwood’s Charlie Parker biography Bird in 1988.
Production on the film is slated to begin next summer in Louisiana.