Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Contemporary Film Update Of 'Porgy And Bess' In Development

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 8, 2013 at 1:28PM

Well, well, well! Variety is reporting exclusively that a "re-envisioned" contemporary film version of Porgy And Bess is in development, with producers Mike Medavoy and Bobby Geisler, at the helm.
5
Porgy And Bess

Well, well, well! Variety is reporting exclusively that a "re-envisioned" contemporary film version of Porgy And Bess is in development, with producers Mike Medavoy and Bobby Geisler, at the helm.

The Gershwin family and the estate of lyricist DuBose Heyward, are said to be directly involved in the project, which they are hoping will be "a lot better" than the 1959 film which starred Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, directed by Otto Preminger. Apparently, the Gershwin family wasn't too happy with that film.

We get approached a lot with ideas that aren’t very good but Mike has a great track record,” Marc George Gershwin, nephew of the Gershwin brothers, noted. “We’re confident that he’s going to able to find the right director and writer. And we already have the music.

When a stage revival of the George and Ira Gershwin/DuBose Heyward groundbreaking opera was announced 2 years ago, in a collaboration between Pultizer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and Diane Paulus, I wondered whether we would eventually see a contemporary retelling of the story on film as well, if the Broadway musical (which starred Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis), was a success.

And a success it was - both commercially and critically, with Audra winning to Tony for Best Leading Actress In A Musical.

So it could very well be that the families were encouraged by that and figured the next logical step was to bring the work to the screen, which looks to also be a musical.

I'd also assume that their choice to update the original work to reflect current times, will draw some debate between purists who would prefer that the original work be adapted as is, and those who would prefer a present-day depiction of black people in this country.

2010 marked the 75th anniversary of the work that's certainly a product of its time, in terms of its characterizations of black people, sparking racial controversy since its debut in 1935. I'm not sure how "contemporary" this film "re-envisioning" revival will be.

No word yet on how exactly the producers plan to tackle it. They still have to find a writer and director. Although I hope they don't do what do what Robert Townsend and MTV did with Carmen: A Hip Hopera in 2001, or what Will Smith, Jay-Z and company plan to do with Annie. In other words, make it a film for adults please!

Regardless, I'm intrigued. Let's wait and see what they do with it; but feel free to speculate all you want, including on casting (they'd need to be able to sing at the very least, assuming this is going to be a film musical).

Past credits for the producers include The Thin Red Line, Zodiac, Shutter Island and Black Swan, so, with that resume, you could say this is a project that's in good hands.


Shadow & ActNewsletter