DreamWorks Cues up Gershwin

Doug Wright Wrote Script for Composer Biopic
Tatiana Siegel
Variety
October 28, 2009

DreamWorks is tuning up a biopic on composer George Gershwin.

Company has picked up a screenplay by "Memoirs of a Geisha" scribe Doug Wright about the iconic musician. Marc Platt ("Wanted") is producing alongside singer and pianist Michael Feinstein.

DreamWorks declined comment on the project. Insiders say deal is near complete, and DreamWorks plans to develop project in the vein of a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic on which the company -- headed by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider -- began work in May after inking a deal with the King estate.

Story will span Gershwin's life, from his humble beginnings in Brooklyn as the child of Russian immigrants to his early death in Hollywood in 1937 at age 38. During his career, he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows with his older brother Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin's music, which spanned popular and classical genres, continues to be used regularly in commercials, TV and films. His "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris" remain among the most recognizable musical works throughout the world. Gershwin's life story has spawned a number of books as well as the 1945 Warner Bros. pic "Rhapsody in Blue."

Feinstein is an expert on Gershwin. Early in his career, he worked for Ira Gershwin, who hired him to catalog his collection of phonograph records. Feinstein spent six years excavating Ira's home on Beverly Hills' Roxbury Drive, archiving the works of Ira and George.

Feinstein has recorded several albums of Gershwin music over the years including "Nice Work if You Can Get It" and "Michael and George."

Wright, whose screenplay "Town House" is being developed as a Zach Galifianakis-Amy Adams starrer for Fox 2000, recently adapted and directed the play "Creditors," which opened at La Jolla Playhouse to kudos.