Apple Original Films has officially greenlit a new Louis Armstrong documentary feature, Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong with Imagine Documentaries producing the film.
The film will offer a definitive look at the seminal musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star, and a cultural ambassador of the US.
Armstrong’s music was adored by millions worldwide but the artist was often mischaracterized for not doing enough to support the Civil Rights Movement. Despite this misnomer, Armstrong used his celebrity to fuel social justice reform and had a willingness to break his silence on issues of segregation and patriotism.
With the full support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the filmmakers have been granted 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.
The film will be directed by Emmy-nominated Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men) and produced by Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein, and Justin Wilkes. Imagine Documentaries’ Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will also serve as executive producers. The project is being produced in association with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment with Michele Anthony and David Blackman serving as executive producers.
Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong follows the global success of the critically acclaimed Apple/Imagine documentary Dads for Apple Original Films from director Bryce Dallas Howard, the Emmy-winning, Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 directed by Morgan Neville (who is also working with Mark Ronson on his forthcoming docuseries) as well as the upcoming series, The Supermodels. Apple will soon premiere the Peanuts 70th Anniversary, Who Are You Charlie Brown? documentary from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain.