Friday, April 12, 2013

Shadow and Act: "Might Spike Lee Direct The Recently-Announced Contemporary 'Porgy And Bess' Film?"

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 12, 2013 11:26 AM
An addendum to last week's news that a "re-envisioned" contemporary film version of Porgy And Bess is in development, with producers Mike Medavoy and Bobby Geisler at the helm, and the Gershwin family and estate of lyricist DuBose Heyward, directly involved, which they are hoping will be "a lot better" than the 1959 film starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, directed by Otto Preminger.

No writer and director have been announced yet, with Marc George Gershwin, nephew of the Gershwin brothers, stating that “We’re confident that [producer Mike Medavoy] is going to able to find the right director and writer.

What I failed to report at that time is that Spike Lee has long been trying to bring a film adaptation of Porgy And Bess to the big screen, but hasn't been successful, although he seems to have gotten close as recently as last year, when he revealed in an interview with The Playlist (while doing press for Red Hook Summer) that talks with the Gershwin estate fell apart at the very last minute after lots of "back and forth."

Although he did later say that he was still negotiating to bring Porgy And Bess to the screen.

"That's still in the works. As a film not a play [...] Yeah I want to make it, but I'm in long discussions with both estates [...] There have been musical elements in my films, but I've been wanting to do a straight up musical for many, many years," he said, adding that the rights issues were "very tricky."

That interview took place last summer. News of the new film adaptation was announced last week.

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