Whitaker as Louis Armstrong
It seems almost perfect casting, and when you look at Forest Whitaker you wonder why you didn't think of it before, if in fact you didn't already, but Forest Whitaker leading a film about Louis Armstrong just seems right. However would you taken him for directing it too?
Louis Armstrong is the legendary musician whose music is still used throughout film and television to this day, and it marks the second famous jazz legend that Whitaker has played.
Forest Whitaker has already played Charlie “Bird” Parker in Clint Eastwood's film about the great jazz legend, Bird, and now he's going to direct his own legend biographical film for the great Louis Armstrong.
According to Variety Ronald Bass is writing the script and Oscar Cohen is involved in the production of the film. Who is Oscar Cohen you might ask? Not any relation to Rob Cohen, but in fact the executive of the Armstrong estate and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, so expect the film to be pretty accurate in its portrayal as it has the blessing and authorisation of the Louis Armstrong estate.
Unlike some biographical films of famous musicians that have been struggling in the past, that most likely means that we'll hear all the original music in the film, if it isn't recreated for the film itself.
Cohen has been working for Armstrong in some capacity since the late 1940's when he joined him as his road manager, and he has granted the film-makers access to his personal accounts, letters and plenty of other material from the archives of the Louis Armstrong estate. Sounds like it will be more revealing than anything we've seen to date.
Forest Whitaker spoke about the film and the legend of Louis Armstrong:
“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.”
The title of the film? Oh surely you guessed it already? What a Wonderful World.