Forest Whitaker takes on Louis Armstrong for ‘What a Wonderful World’
By Patrick Luce Oct 8, 2008, 15:04 GMT
Forest Whitaker explores the world of Louis Armstrong with new film. Forest Whitaker - Stand Up To Cancer - Arrivals - Kodak Theater - Hollywood, CA. USA © Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos
Forest Whitaker is set to direct and star in “What a Wonderful World” – which is based on the life of Louis Armstrong.
Variety reports the film will be made for Paris-based Legende (who brought "La Vie en rose" to the screen) with Alain Goldman and Edward R. Pressman producing. Writing chores will be handled by Ron Bass – who also serves as an executive producer on the film.
Oscar Cohen (who is also the executive of the Armstrong estate and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation) will also handle executive producing chores on the film. The filmmakers are being granted access to Armstrong’s letters, and other material from his archives.
The project is the first to be authorized by the Armstrong estate, and will follow the musician’s early life in New Orleans. It will show his rise to fame as a trumpet player and singer. It is scheduled to start shooting next summer in Louisiana.
In Variety, Whitaker (who played jazz legend Charlie Parker in "Bird") stated: "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."
Whitaker's last directing credit was the 20th Century Fox comedy "First Daughter." He is set to return to the big screen with acting roles in "Repossession Mambo," "Hurricane Season" and "Powder Blue."