Apple orders Louis Armstrong documentary
James R | On 14, Apr 2021
Apple TV+ has given the green light to a new Louis Armstrong documentary. Titled Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong, the film is produced under Apple’s first-look agreement with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries.
The film offers a definitive look at the musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star and a cultural ambassador of the United States. With the full support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the filmmakers have access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival materials, including hundreds of hours of audio recordings, film footage, photographs, personal diaries and a life’s worth of ephemera for exclusive use in the first significant documentary dedicated entirely to his life. He was loved by millions worldwide but the film argues he was mischaracterised for not doing enough to support the civil rights movement, showing how his fight for social justice was fuelled by his celebrity and his willingness to break his silence on issues of segregation and patriotism.
The documentary will be directed by Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men) and produced by Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard serve as executive producers.
It will join Apple’s expanding offering of documentaries and docuseries, including Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, five-time Emmy Award-nominated Beastie Boys Story, Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Award-winning Boys State and Emmy Award-nominated series Home.