Apple Original Films has greenlit a documentary feature about the life of jazz great Louis Armstrong titled “Black & Blues” that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Documentaries will produce.
“Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong” will be executive produced by Grazer and Howard and directed by Emmy nominee Sacha Jenkins (“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men”). The film is being produced under Apple’s first-look agreement with Imagine Documentaries.
“Black & Blues” offers a definitive look at the master musician Louis Armstrong’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star, and a cultural ambassador of the United States. Though Armstrong was loved by millions worldwide, he was often mischaracterized for not doing enough to support the Civil Rights Movement. But his fight for social justice was fueled by his celebrity and his willingness to break his silence on issues of segregation and patriotism.
The documentary is being developed with the full support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, which has provided the filmmakers hundreds of hours of unheard archival materials including audio recordings, film footage, photographs, personal diaries and other ephemera.
Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes are producing. The project is being produced in association with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment with Michele Anthony and David Blackman serving as executive producers.
Apple previously worked with Imagine Documentaries on Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Dads,” “Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10” as directed by Morgan Neville. Coming up are the docuseries “The Supermodels” and “Who Are You Charlie Brown?” about the 70th anniversary of the Peanuts cartoons.