For years there's been talk about a Louis Armstrong biopic and several folks have been shopping their version of the legendary jazz trumpeter. An Oscar-winning actor, however, has apparently gotten out of the blocks first.
Variety reports that Forest Whitaker is on board to direct and star in a biopic of jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong that is named after his signature tune, "What a Wonderful World." Whitaker's announcement comes about two weeks after actor/director Charles S. Dutton told reporters that he and Quincy Jones were working on an Armstrong project for HBO.
Whitaker's, however, will be a feature film and apparently the first authorized by the Armstrong estate. "World" will trace Armstrong's journey from his impoverished youth in New Orleans to his success as one of the world's most noted jazz musicians.
"Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture," said Whitaker, who portrayed jazz great Charlie Parker in "Bird." "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."
The film will start shooting next summer in Louisiana.