Two-time Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee is in negotiations to turn the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess into a film, according to IndieWire.com. The musical has been a passion project for Lee for over a decade and after seeing the current Broadway revival, Lee has begun negations with the Gerswhin estate to bring the opera back to the big screen. Porgy and Bess was adapted into a major motion picture in 1957, starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis, Jr. No timeline or casting for Lee’s remake has been confirmed.
“There have been musical elements in my films, but I've been wanting to do a straight up musical for many, many years,” Lee said.
Lee earned Oscar nominations for directing Do the Right Thing and 4 Little Girls. His many films include Inside Man, 25th Hour, He Got Game, Malcom X, Crooklyn, Bamboozled and Jungle Fever. In 2009, Lee filmed the Broadway production of the musical Passing Strange. He also directed Mike Tyson's current Broadway show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.
Set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, Porgy and Bess follows beautiful Bess as she struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the crippled but courageous Porgy. The Tony-winning Broadway revival stars Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis as the ill-fated title lovers, and David Alan Grier (who appeared in Lee's Tales from the Hood film) as Sporting Life. The revival currently runs at the Richard Rodgers Theatre through September 23.