In Remake News: “Porgy and Bess” To Come To The Big Screen…Again (Who Should Play The Title Characters?)

April 8, 2013  |  

According to Dave McNary and the folks at Variety, the musical Porgy and Bess is going to be coming to the silver screen again sometime soon. Word is, producers Mike Medavoy and Bobby Geisler are working with the Gershwin family, including Marc George Gershwin, a nephew of the famous brothers, to create an updated film version. Based on the 1935 original Broadway production, it became a film in 1959 starring Sidney Poitier and the beautiful Dorothy Dandridge, as well as Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey and Diahann Carroll. Despite the film’s star power and influence even today, Ira and George Gershwin were actually pretty disappointed with the film version, and it didn’t really do all that well critically and at the box office back then. However, the revised Broadway version that opened in 2012 was a massive hit, winning Audra McDonald (who played Bess) a Tony, and wound up being the longest-running production of the musical out of all. According to Shadow and Act, it might be the revived musical’s success that is persuading folks to make this into another movie. Either way, Marc George Gershwin is excited about what is to come, and he hopes it will be better than the version starring Poitier and Dandridge (we find that one pretty great though):

“We get approached a lot with ideas that aren’t very good but Mike has a great track record. We’re confident that he’s going to able to find the right director and writer. And we already have the music.”

So now that you know that it’s in the works, are you excited? And who could you see playing Porgy and Bess? As for Bess, what about a Jennifer Hudson? Anika Noni Rose? Or how about if they just let Audra McDonald play the role that got her a Tony on the big screen? She is an amazing actress. But we will see what comes and who is cast soon enough–once a script is actually written and a director is picked. Excitement!

Are you excited about the news of a remake?



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  • freemon williams

    Sindey Poiter only did it because he was told if he didn’t he would be blacklisted

  • MonicaT

    I think any of these actresses could play the lead Nia Long, Anika Noni, Naomie Harris and Sophie Okonedo. They all have the chops to play the role and of course Edris Elba. Not sure if they can all sing, but they can handle the part.

  • Ms. Bee

    I would love to see Anika Noni Rose in this. She’s a great actress AND a great singer. She’s perfect for this.

  • Nancy

    Are you kidding me? This was one of the most racist stereotypical films of all time. None of the actors wanted to be involved. They only took the parts because they had no other offers. Diahann Carroll talked about walking out of a screening of it in recent years, because she couldn’t stomach it.

  • JerzeeGurl

    Please GAWD not Beyonce. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking this)

  • &.

    They should just let Audra McDonald play the lead in the movie.

  • jjac401

    I’d like Halle Berry to play the lead female on this project since she did such a wonderful job doing Dorothy Dandrige before,

    • Broadwayturg

      LOL! Bess is a LEGIT OPERATIC SINGER, Halle can’t handle it. The only women actually who can handle it in this day and age is the true broadway diva herself, AUDRA MCDONALD! I actually think they should bring back all the leads from the broadway production and switch out some supporting character from Hollywood stars for the pull. In my head that would be Idris Elba (if he can sing) for Henry and Anika Noni Rose for Clara.