Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online 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...

Louis Armstrong Was Born Today... What's Going On With Forest Whitaker's Biopic? Charles Dutton's?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 4, 2011 at 2:44AM

Today in history... August 4th 1901, jazzman Louis Armstrong (aka Satchmo), one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, was born in New Orleans, LA, the grandson of slaves.
1

Today in history... August 4th 1901, jazzman Louis Armstrong (aka Satchmo), one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, was born in New Orleans, LA, the grandson of slaves.

Armstrong appeared in more than 40 films and TV-movies, before passing in 1971 at age 69.

But what about films made based on his life?

Most recently, in 2008, Forest Whitaker announced that he was planning to star in and direct a film based on the life of the jazzman, which he was supposed to start filming this spring. But, last I checked, that didn't happen.

"Next year in April I'm going to direct ‘Satchmo,’ the Louis Armstrong Biopic. I am going to play the character. I won't play the whole of it, it starts when he's born. But a couple of people will be performing the character... I haven't cast the movie. I probably shouldn't be talking about it because I'm still in the budgeting stages. I have ideas for casting, but I feel that as of now, every person I've approached to be on the crew who has read the script has attached themselves to it. I feel as though the same will occur with the actors because the roles are pretty amazing, really great characters. We'll see."

That was from a February 2010 interview.

Since then the project has changed titles, and is now known as simply Something Wonderful (it was initially going to be titled What A Wonderful World, after the song by the late musician).

The last we reported on it was a month later, March 2010, when we learned that the movie would indeed be a true biopic that will span Armstrong's full life, from his birth into poverty in New Orleans, to his death in New York in 1971, with Whitaker adding that we should prepare for a more elliptical take on Armstrong's life and career, contrasting public perceptions of the man with the behind-closed-doors reality.

"It covers his whole life but more from a myth point of view - it's told as two different myths of the same person."

He also said he'd met with his producers in Paris just a few days before that last report, and was reassured that the money was there, and the project was definitely a go!

So, what's going on with the project now? I dunno... IMDB says it's still "in development." I couldn't immediately find anything online that suggested more than what I have here; though if anyone knows more, feel free to share.

And, by the way, also announced in 2008, Charles S. Dutton and John Sayles were teaming up to make a mini-series for HBO based on the life of Armstrong. Not sure what happened to that. Likely dead and buried.

Oh and happy birthday to President Obama as well :)

This article is related to: casting, Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Today In History


Shadow & ActNewsletter