“Mudbound” director Dee Rees is set to write and direct a new film adaptation of George Gershwin’s famed opera “Porgy and Bess” for MGM. Irwin and Charles Winkler, who helped secure the rights to the story from the Gershwin estate, will produce.
The story follows a disabled, black street-beggar named Porgy living in the slums of Charleston as he attempts to rescue Bess from a violent lover named Crown and her drug dealer, Sportin’ Life.
The work started out as a 1925 novel of the same name by DuBose Heyward, was adapted into a play called “Porgy” by Heyward and Dorothy Heyward. Then composer George Gershwin and lyricist Ira Gershwin wrote “Porgy and Bess” in 1935, with a libretto written by Heyward.
The property was first adapted on film by director Otto Preminger in 1959, that version starred Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Brock Peters and Sammy Davis Jr.
Rees most recently directed “The Last Thing He Wanted” which premiered at Sundance to some of the festival’s worst reviews – a far cry from “Mudbound” which was an awards contender. ‘Last Thing’ will debut on Netflix on February 21st.
Source: The Wrap